Dog owners on alert as respiratory illness spreads

CHARLOTTE — Veterinarian Camden Rouben with Charlotte Animal Referral and Emergency said that more dogs are coming in with trouble breathing and a persistent cough, which are signs of a respiratory illness.

“Primarily, just from the cases that we’re seeing, they seem to be starting out as viruses that eventually turn into bacterial pneumonia type of cases,” Rouben said.

Rouben said they have seen serious cases recently at CARE.

“I’d be lying to you if I said every patient is completely curable or treatable,” he said.

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Rouben emphasized that canine owners should stay clear of dog parks and other areas that are crowded with dogs if possible.

Look out for symptoms, which include trouble breathing or a loud cough.

Dog owner Sarah Reyna learned that her dog’s daycare was closed Wednesday.

“We were turned away this morning at drop-off,” Reyna said.

Officials with Dogs All Day said it closed its daycare Wednesday “until further notice due to a canine cough outbreak in the Charlotte area.”

However, they can still board dogs, the owner said.

There’s no group playtime and the workers are deep cleaning all day.

“We’re very thankful to the staff that they were being cautious,” Reyna said.

Dog owner Juan Arguello got his Australian Shepherd checked out at the vet.

His canine was diagnosed with a respiratory virus and is OK now.

However, the diagnosis is enough to keep him on high alert.

“I’m just aware and of other dogs and any coughing is going on,” he said.

Learn more about respiratory infections in dogs here.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Arguello said.

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