Mystery Respiratory Illness In Dogs Spreading In N.H.

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MANCHESTER, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A mysterious respiratory illness in dogs with symptoms that initially resemble kennel cough but rapidly progress to pneumonia is spreading in New Hampshire.

The cases started at a single doggy daycare, but have since spread to other organizations in central and southern New Hampshire. The Veterinary Emergency Center of Manchester says it has seen more than 250 cases of this illness in the past four months.

"Basically, our isolation ward is constantly full," Dr. Cara Batchelder of VECM told WBZ NewsRadio. "Initially we thought it was just kennel cough. We're seeing that it's a lot more severe than that."

Batchelder noted that dogs sick with the illness are "not responding to antibiotics typically used for kennel cough. A lot of these dogs are just developing pneumonia."

Symptoms include runny eyes and nose, sneezing, coughing, decreased appetite, and lethargy.

Officials are advising dog owners to keep their dogs away from areas where they might interact with other dogs, if possible.

"The majority of the dogs that we see have been to daycare, boarding, grooming, so situations where they're around a lot of other dogs, or they've just been exposed to a dog who's been to grooming, boarding, daycare," said Batchelder.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) has more.

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