A K-9 Unidentified Respiratory Illness Spreading Through the Ced - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A K-9 Unidentified Respiratory Illness Spreading Through the Cedar Valley

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

An unidentified respiratory illness is spreading through the Cedar Valley's K-9 population.
It's commonly known as Kennel Cough and it's highly contagious.
KWWL's Jessica Hartman caught up with a veterinarian and reports what you need to know to keep your furry friends safe.

These dogs seems healthy as can be, but many in the Cedar Valley are not.
 "Then all of a sudden its been weekly for the last several weeks and then daily. So it is definitely snowballing right now," said Veterinarian Dr. Bradley Kneeland of Pawsitive Pet Care in Waterloo.
   Why is it considered unidentified?
  "Which can be caused by any type of viruses, it can be caused by the Kennel Cough bacteria, which it Bordetella. It can be caused by the K-9 influenza. All of these things put together kind of lead to the same symptoms," said Kneeland.

With treatment being the same, vets say it's not worth the costly tests to determine the specific cause.
The most important thing, making sure you're watching your pets closely, making sure they aren't exhibiting any of the symptoms.

"A dog who all of a sudden starts coughing, and the cough gets worse and worse, and it can be productive; where all of a sudden at the end of a coughing cycle it will try and hack something up," said Kneeland.
   Vets are recommending two preventative steps.
 The first, up-to-date vaccines.

"The vaccine doesn't mean you won't necessarily get the disease, but what it is, is like the human flu shot, might still get it, but it should be short period of time and not a severe," said Kneeland.
 The second, avoid contact with other dogs. If that's not possible make sure those dogs are also vaccinated.

If your dog starts to experience these symptoms, you should see your vet right away.
Experts say they can't cure Kennel Cough, but the vet can give your dog medicine to ease the coughing until it runs its course.

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