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Addressing the Mystery Illness

Like most pet owners, we're all concerned about the mystery canine respiratory illness that has been spreading. First things first, don't panic! Take most of what you read on social media and most news sites with a grain of salt. They're out to get clicks and will use scare tactics to sell a story. Now, that's not to say that you shouldn't do your research, but be sure where you're getting your news from is accurate and legitimate.

Here are a couple of trustworthy sites:

Dr. Judy Morgan Naturally Healthy Pets

If your dog is showing signs of coughing, sneezing, or acting lethargic, don't wait and take your dog to the vet. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Avoid dog parks. This is regardless of mystery illness or not, but you just don't know the health (or behavior) status of other dogs. Don't let other people or dogs you don't know greet your dog.

Use your best judgment about kennels, boarding facilities, and daycares. Like us, I'm sure most are taking the appropriate precautions and we all want to keep your dogs healthy. Use common sense, wash your hands, and/or use hand sanitizer.

My dogs, Walter & Rizzo!

Now is NOT the time to over-vaccinate your dog. The Bordetella and canine influenza vaccines will not protect your dog from this mystery illness because it is not the same strain. The last thing you want to do is overstimulate your dog's immune system with a vaccine. (TDP does not require either vaccine.)

How am I helping my dogs? I'm being proactive and boosting their immune system:

  • I feed fresh species-appropriate food (even feeding as little as 10% fresh food added to processed kibble will go a long way).

  • For good gut health, I rotate plain yogurt, plain kefir, raw goat milk, and probiotic supplements.

  • I do not over-vaccinate beyond core puppy shots and will titer if I need to vaccinate again.

  • Fresh air and exercise are good for all of us!

  • Keep stress levels low. My dogs feed off of my energy and my stress can affect them, too.

You know your dog better than anyone else. Ask questions and do your research. You are your dog's advocate and get to decide what precautions to take.

Stay healthy!



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