Vet warns pet owners that dog illness surging across US could make its way to tri-state area
A local veterinarian is warning pet owners that a mysterious dog illness surging across the country could make its way to the tri-state area.
Hundreds of dogs have been sickened in at least 16 states since the summer from the illness.
The infections are highly contagious and sometimes fatal.
Dr. Joshua Rosen, medical director of Bond Vet in Merrick, says there haven't been any cases detected in the area yet. But that could change quickly - just in time for the holiday rush.
"I do expect this mysterious canine respiratory disease to hit the tri-state area in the next coming weeks," he says. "It is the time of year where many people
end up traveling around the country, bringing their pets with them or boarding them in facilities that have a higher risk of transmitting this illness."
Rosen says it's still safe to board your dog, but he says to make sure to remind the facility that your dog should not be sharing food or water bowls with other pets.
Pet owners should also be aware of possible signs of infection that could last several weeks. Rosen says symptoms include lethargy, coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge.
He also says it's important to make sure your pet is fully vaccinated - especially for kennel cough.
"There are many vaccines that are available that help to protect against many of the pathogens...that cause this disease complex and that does help us provide some form of protection, some form of peace of mind," says Rosen.
The exact cause of the illness is still unknown.