Veterinary clinics in Virginia are warning pet owners of a mysterious new threat to their furry family members. In the past month, more than 150 dogs in the Charlottesville area have received veterinary attention for a type of respiratory condition similar to whooping cough. The disease is highly contagious, and local vets are officially calling the issue an “epidemic.”
Autumn Tails Veterinary Center in Charlottesville, VA is one of many veterinary clinics that has seen a huge intake of dogs with this unknown disease. Since this past Thursday, the clinic has treated 22 dogs with the illness, and other vet practices are experiencing even higher numbers of sick canines. Many of the dogs are up to date on vaccinations, and veterinarians aren’t sure exactly what kind of disease they’re dealing with.
Veterinary professionals are reporting symptoms of the disease include severe coughing and sneezing. Many dogs also show signs of lethargy and are treated for mild fevers. No one is exactly sure how the disease is spreading, but vets are advising pet owners to avoid taking their dogs into areas with high canine traffic. Dog parks, pet stores, doggy daycares, grooming facilities, and boarding kennels are all potential hot spots where the disease could spread.
Most pet-based businesses in the Charlottesville area are aware of the situation and are taking steps to limit the spread of the disease. Boarding facilities and vet clinics are being decontaminated, but the best place for your pup is at home.
Vets are running tests and doing their best to learn more about the unknown disease, but right now, the best you can do for your dog is keep them home and monitor their health. If you notice your dog displaying any of the symptoms, call your vet. Inform them of your suspicions and make an effort to keep your pup away from other dogs.
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