Local News

Mysterious respiratory disease strikes area, prompting caution for pet owners

Dogs outside/Picture provided by Heather Starr WOWO

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – The Indiana State Board of Animal Health issued a release, revealing the emergence of a dangerous respiratory disease that has shown up in cities throughout the state, including Fort Wayne, as well as Indianapolis, Evansville, and Bloomington.

Denise Derrer Spears, the Public Information Officer for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, shared insights on the symptoms, stating, “We don’t know what the causative agent is or whether it’s exactly a virus, bacteria causing the disease. But it’s a disease that actually starts a lot like kennel cough that a lot of folks are familiar with. The dog will get the dry hacking cough, but it will persist past seven to fourteen days.”

According to our partners in news at 21 Alive, the local impact is already evident, with Bluffton Parks canceling their annual ‘Paws with Clause’ event to prevent the spread of the illness among dogs. They emphasize the importance of maintaining the health of local dogs during the holiday season.

As the holidays approach, pet owners often consider boarding their dogs while traveling. Despite the outbreak, experts advise that boarding is not off the table but urge caution in the process. Denise Derrer Spears emphasizes, “Something to keep in mind is that if your pet is sick, don’t take them there because it risks infecting other animals. Also, make sure their vaccinations are up to date and just keep an eye on them. The facilities, if they’re doing a good job and keeping their facilities clean and disinfected, that’s a big help as well.”

Complicating matters, the voluntary nature of reporting for veterinarians and pet owners leaves the Indiana State Board of Animal Health uncertain about the actual number of cases. As concerns rise, pet owners are advised to stay vigilant, prioritize vaccinations, and exercise caution when considering boarding options for their furry companions.

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1 comment

Slacker06 December 4, 2023 at 9:24 am

FNC had an article last week on this subject. An award winning Golden Retriever was on the verge of death. A Facebook post informed them to try chloramphenicol, an antibiotic used mainly for pink eye in humans. IF you pet gets sick mention this to your vet. Perhaps it will help. Once again the “experts” at the state health authority are standing around with the backside in their hands.


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