COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Veterinarians in Colorado are warning dog owners about a new respiratory virus that can be deadly if left untreated.
Dr. Lindsey Ganzer, DVM of the North Springs Veterinary Referral Center said her staff has treated around 20 dogs with this illness over the past three weeks.
It's unclear what this virus is. Tests for canine influenza and kennel cough come back negative. Dr. Gazner said symptoms will initially appear mild but rapidly deteriorate into pneumonia requiring more intense treatment.
"They start off with just a mild cough and then get put on antibiotics," Gazner said. "Once they escalate it, they need a lot of different antibiotics that are more intensive than the normal protocol for respiratory cases and oxygen therapy for several days in hospital."
Dr. Gazner is collecting data about these cases for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The spread of the virus appears to be more concentrated in the Denver area. However, cases have also appeared in Washington, Oregon, and Florida.
She encourages pet owners to pay close attention to their dog's breathing.
"If they start breathing really hard, they seem really lethargic, their gums may be turning blue or purple, then to bring them here or to another emergency hospital," Gazner said.
For now, she urges all dog owners to avoid socializing with other dogs. Put off trips to the dog park, the groomers, and boarding facilities to limit the virus from spreading.
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.