LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Possible cases of a mystery respiratory illness in dogs have now been detected in several states, including California and Colorado, and some dog owners in Nevada are getting concerned.

“There are people that have been hearing about it and are coming in just to have them checked, or they may have heard maybe a cough or two or a few sneezes, and they’re getting concerned and coming in, which is good to be safe, they’re playing it safe,” said Travis Pond, a veterinarian at American Pet Hospital in Henderson.

The Department of Agriculture said so far, no cases of the mystery illness have been confirmed in Nevada, and all veterinarians in the state are now being asked to report any cases of respiratory illness in dogs, along with test results.

“There almost isn’t a day that goes by we don’t get at least one respiratory case now,” said Pond.

However, the Department of Agriculture said no specific test for this mystery illness has been developed just yet.

“The Department of Agriculture sent out a letter last week right before Thanksgiving, asking the veterinarians for their help in being able to identify the prevalence and trying to identify the organisms that are responsible,” said Pond.

Symptoms of the illness include coughing fits, nasal discharge, lethargy, loss of appetite, and fever, which Pond said can be similar to Canine Influenza and Pneumonia. In severe cases left untreated, he said the illness can be fatal for dogs.

“Not trying to scare people, but just the fact that it can potentially be serious, especially for older animals or animals with other diseases that might weaken their immune system, this can be very significant,” he warned.

Pond said the illness is transmitted from dog to dog, so some vets are advising owners to avoid dog parks, grooming facilities, and even boarding for the holidays.

“In this situation, because of the outbreak and the unsurity of it all, if there’s a possibility to find another route to take care of the animal, especially if the animal is older, has other diseases that might increase the ability for the animal to get sick, it would be best,” said Pond. “The most common places these types of things are transmitted are in social settings like boarding and grooming, dog parks, those kinds of thing.”


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