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The Canine Respiratory Illness — What Pet Owners Need to Know

Picture of Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal is the founder and lead veterinarian for Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic. Coufal graduated from State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in May of 2000.

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest pet news, you may have heard of the canine respiratory illness that’s going around. Unfortunately, the pathogen causing this illness is unknown. Its symptoms range from mild to intense, with some affected pups experiencing severe pneumonia. 

If you’re worried about taking your dog out Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is here to review everything you must know. We want to ease your mind as much as possible but also educate you so you can make the best choices for your furry friend. Let’s break it down!

A golden lab dog sitting on an exam table at the vet getting its heartrate checked by a doctor in scrubs and blue gloves

Protecting Your Dog From Canine Respiratory Illness

Because there is so much unknown about this canine illness, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions to protect your pet. Here are some tips to help you ensure your dog’s health and wellbeing:

1. Make Sure Your Dog Is Up-to-Date on Vaccinations

When it comes to your pet’s health, vaccinations are extremely important. If you aren’t sure whether or not your dog is due for a vaccination, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Vaccines help protect your furry friend from respiratory illnesses like kennel cough and canine influenza.

A brown sausage dog sitting on an exam table getting a vaccine by a doctor in blue gloves while its owner holds onto it

2. Limit Interactions With Other Dogs

If your dog is social and enjoys playing with other dogs, consider limiting their interaction for the time being. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t take your dog for walks and let them play with a neighbor across the street, but there’s potential for exposure at larger gatherings like dog parks and boarding and grooming centers. You should also avoid communal water bowls. Limiting exposure is one of the easiest ways to help prevent sickness.

3. Take Swift Action if Symptoms Arise

If your dog exhibits any concerning symptoms, don’t wait until they get worse to consult a vet. Respiratory symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Lethargy
  • Nasal or eye discharge
  • Decreased appetite
  • Labored breathing

Before you bring your dog to the vet, give them a call and see what they recommend. At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic in Colorado Springs, we’ll review your pet’s symptoms and recommend a course of action best suited for the situation.

Fortunately, other experts in the field say you shouldn’t be too afraid. According to Patrick Carney, assistant professor of veterinary science at Cornell University, the illness is something to keep an eye on, but the number of affected dogs isn’t huge, and many dogs who get the disease recover and do well.

A brown and white dog playing with an orange squeaky toy

Stay Vigilant With Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic

This new canine respiratory illness is concerning, but you can rest easy knowing you have the information necessary to make the best choices for your pet. By keeping your dog up-to-date on their vaccinations, limiting their interactions with other dogs, and taking swift action if your furry friend experiences any troubling respiratory symptoms, you can keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.

If you have any questions regarding your pet’s care or want to schedule an appointment with a reputable veterinarian in Colorado Springs, contact Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic today! We’re a family-owned and operated facility dedicated to compassionate vet care, and we offer various services to ensure your pet’s comfort and relief. 

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Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is seeking an enthusiastic and caring veterinarian to work relief, part-time or full-time in our general practice. PVC is a full-service, 3+ doctor, small-animal veterinary hospital. We have established an excellent reputation for developing lasting relationships with our clients and for providing compassionate and quality care to our patients.