There’s a crisis happening for dogs in the state of Montana that has veterinarians and experts baffled: several dogs have come down with a mysterious disease. It’s a severe canine respiratory disease that has yet to be identified and it’s making dogs sick. So much so, experts are warning residents of the state to keep their dogs protected to prevent the disease from spreading any further. Doctors say the first reported case of the disease was reported in early July, 2017. Since then, approximately 250 dogs have been sickened by the respiratory disease.
At first, it appeared that dogs were coming down with what is commonly known as “kennel cough.” However, vaccinations for that particular disease were not offering protection to dogs. Those dogs that came down with the disease experienced difficulty breathing, coughs, and a fever. Some more extreme cases even resulted in pneumonia which sadly killed some of the dogs affected. The areas of the state that have seen the largest number of these cases include Red Lodge, Butte, Roundup, Livingston, and Bozeman.
Veterinarians are collecting samples from the infected dogs in the hopes of understanding and identifying the illness to prevent its spread any further in the state. At this point, there are a handful of cases coming into vet offices in the area each day, which has gone on for several weeks now. Early tests coming from local laboratories show that the illness is likely some form of canine influenza. So, what can dog owners do to prevent the disease from spreading? Veterinarians say they should limit contact with other pets and dogs and not allow dogs to use public water bowls or be around other dogs in Montana area dog parks for now.
At this point, it’s all about preventing the spread of disease and understand more about what is making dogs so sick in Montana.