Iowa’s News Now is continuing to follow a mysterious illness hitting dogs across the country and in Iowa, as experts warn pet owners to take extra precautions throughout the holiday season.
Travel is a huge part of the holiday season and you may want to bring your canine companion along for the ride, but with that mysterious dog illness spreading across the nation, it’s important take precautions before hitting the road with Fido in tow.
“We’re not 100% sure if it’s like a mutated variation of some of the stuff we’ve historically seen, or if it’s potentially something new so we’re still learning every day. We’re hoping the labs give us an answer sooner rather than later,” said Pet Method Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Hunter Finn.
There’s still no known cure or treatment yet, but experts say it’s a mostly modest respiratory dog illness, although some dogs have died from it.
“Thankfully most of the dogs that we’re treating are recovering pretty well, it’s more mild disease than anything,” said Dr. Finn.
A pet insurance provider says they are seeing a jump in claims, but nothing abnormal.
“We’re definitely seeing more come in, however, we’re not seeing an amount that really feels like a major outlier at this point it’s pretty consistent with the tables, the assumptions, the models that we’ve forecasted to date,” said CEO of MetLife Pet Insurance Brian Jorgensen.
It’s still encouraged to avoid high traffic areas like dog parks or boarding; practice social distancing and make sure your furry companion is up to date with vaccinations.
“If you do have to travel, I mean, make sure they’re up to date on their vaccines like Bordetella and influenza, you know, try to set other arrangements other than maybe a boarding facility, like having someone come stay at your house or your apartment could be a good option,” said Dr. Finn.
Jorgensen says pet insurance is important to help take care of the wellness needs of your pets.
“We encourage them to jump on the pet insurance wagon, it’s a great tool regardless of the time but a health event like this, it definitely reminds us that we really should be doing some things to protect our furry family members,” said Jorgensen.
And if your pup is used to going with you to the pet store for a treat, it’s not a bad idea to keep your dog at home and avoid any unnecessary trips.
Experts say we may see more respiratory cases throughout the holiday season as people travel, but it’s not uncommon, and may or may not be related to this potentially new respiratory illness.
They expect these cases to subside altogether by March of 2024, if not earlier.