Warning: Yakima Dog Owners Need To Watch For Respiratory Problems
A respiratory illness making dogs sick in Washington and Oregon is a big concern in Yakima. Dr. Lutz Harfst with Yakima Animal Medical Service says they're operating in precautionary mode until they learn more about the illness.
UPDATE: ILLNESS HAS BEEN FOUND IN WASHINGTON
On December 1, the WSDA issued a release that indicated 16 cases had been reported to them so far, two of which they could confirm as atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). Those dogs were in Snohomish and Clark Counties.
SYMPTOMS OF ATYPICAL CIRDC
CIRDC is characterized by acute or chronic inflammation of the trachea and bronchial airways resulting in clinical signs such as harsh, dry coughing fits, retching and gagging and possible partial anorexia. Some dogs may develop progressing pneumonia. Dogs with pneumonia present with more severe clinical signs such as lethargy, inappetence (lack of appetite), fever, nasal discharge, and respiratory distress at rest. This would be considered typical of what we would expect to see.
TIME TO CHECK THOSE VACCINATIONS AND STAY CLOSE TO HOME
Right now Harfst says they want to make sure all dogs are up to date on vaccines including the influenza vaccine.
He says it's smart to stay away from any dog park in Yakima just in case, and to take action if your dog is lethargic has a cough or other sickness.
DON'T LET THE NEWS PUT YOU IN A PANIC
Harfst urges you to not panic but rather be vigilant. He says doctors don't know enough about the illness so far but they hope to learn more in the future. Until then he says they're just making people aware of the illness. Harfst says the respiratory illness may be "waiting in the wings" in Washington State.
TRYING TO KEEP ALL DOGS HEALTHY AT THE CLINIC
If you visit Yakima Animal Medical Service he says if a dog is coughing they have the owner keep the dog in the car until a doctor has a chance to examine the animal.
Harfst says be aware of how your pet is feeling and eating and make the right decisions to keep pets healthy. 16 states have reported cases of the illness.
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