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If you're a dog owner, and there are many of us in Louisiana, you need to be aware of a mystery respiratory disease that is spreading throughout several states among dogs. The disease has been reported in 12 states so far. This disease is raising concern among veterinarians.

Symptoms to Watch For

Dog owners are encouraged to be alert of the symptoms to watch out for.  Symptoms include coughing, eye and nose discharge, and lethargy.  New Orleans veterinarian Dr. Claire Guichard said that while no cases have been reported in Louisiana, there have been cases here in the south, including in Florida and Georgia.

“So, if you’re pup is just seeming a little bit off, maybe not wanting to play as much, not wanting to eat, and then has that little lingering cough. We recommend that you contact your vet sooner, rather than later,” Guichard.

 

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Unfortunately, some dogs have died from the disease and Guichard said it comes on rather fast.  Because it is a respiratory disease, Guichard said your dog has to come in contact with another dog to catch it.

“Close contact with other dogs in order to catch it, and so for this particular, new atypical version we’re really suggesting caution rather than worry,” said Guichard.

 

If cases do begin to show up in Louisiana, Louisiana veterinarians are on notice to report any possible spread of the mystery disease. Guichard said it’s best to keep your dog away from other dogs.

“These dogs aren’t really responding to like they should to antibiotics. The cough can last six to eight weeks and in rare cases they can develop rapidly progressing pneumonia in as little as 24 to 36 hours,” said Guichard.

 

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Dr. Guichard said it affects dogs of all ages, but puppies and senior dogs are more likely to have more severe complications.

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