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Dog owners urged to protect canines from spreading illness

The canine respiratory illness spreading across the country has prompted the Nevada Department of Agriculture to urge encourages dog owners to implement good health and safety practices.

The cause of the illness is unknown and under investigation.

A handful of dog owners have contacted the Las Vegas Review-Journal in the past few weeks to say their dogs were infected or were suspected to have died from the illness.

“We are monitoring the illness and are asking veterinarians across the state to report any cases with symptoms corresponding to those of this respiratory illness to the NDA,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Peter Mundschenk. “We have received notice of possible suspected cases and encourage anyone who thinks their dog may be affected to notify your veterinarian so those cases may be properly reported and investigated.”

The common symptoms related to this illness include coughing, sneezing, nasal and or eye discharge and lethargy.

“Symptoms of the illness are similar to kennel cough and canine influenza” said Mundschenk. “It’s important we rule out those possibilities to help determine if this canine respiratory illness may be at play.”

The NDA recommends pet owners exercise health and safety practices with their canines. This includes:

— Keep animals up to date on vaccinations such as canine influenza, Bordetella and parainfluenza.

— Limit exposure to other animals (dog parks, grooming, boarding, day care facilities, during walks, etc.).

— Practice safe biosecurity measures which include avoiding sharing food and water bowls and cleaning those items regularly.

— Contact your veterinarian for canine specific advice before attending events or activities where dogs may congregate.

— Contact your vet at the first sign of illness.

Dog owners who are concerned about their animals are encouraged to reach out to their local veterinarians with questions and to develop a plan to best keep their animals safe based on their individual needs.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com.

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