Dog experts and owners searching for answers on respiratory illness

Concerns over respiratory illness in dogs

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(ABC 6 News) – A respiratory illness has left vets puzzled nationwide. Now it’s leaving both experts and dogs owners with many questions.

“It’s really sad I think you just need to be very careful with closeness dogs have with each other,” said Stacey Terry who was out with her dog at a park in Rochester.

This fall growing concern of what some call a “mystery” respiratory illness has people on high alert, like Aaron Rothering manager of K-9 Kennels in Rochester.

“Yep, we’ve had to send dogs home because they come here, and they start coughing and we don’t want it to spread,” said Rothering.

Symptoms included things like coughing, fever and vomiting. Dr. Bradley Treder at Northern Valley Animal Clinic says if your dog starts experiencing symptoms to take them in right away.

“We’ve actually been treating our cough patients out in our parking lot. We are trying to avoid spreading things around in the building as well,” said Treder.

Treder has seen an increase in respiratory cases for the last three months. He’s calling this a “Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex.”

“It’s referred to as a complex because there’s a whole assortment of characters that tend to be responsible both bacteria and viruses,” said Treder.

But he has noticed a common denominator with these cases. “Dogs that have received the Intranasal Bordetella vaccine with parainfluenza seem to be far and away the best protection against this,” said Treder.

While experts figure out what’s going on others are trying to do their part to stop the spread.

“We have a post on Facebook and we have been telling everyone verbally when they come in. We have this post here on our desk warning people,” said Rothering.

“Just taking the precautions of just watching the symptoms. Just making sure they don’t come down with it,” said Terry.

Vets say make sure you dog is update on all vaccinations, keep them away from unfamiliar dogs and if they start experiencing any symptoms call the vet right away.