Michigan state vets on alert for mysterious dog illness cases reported around U.S.

Amid worries of illnesses spreading in pets in Michigan, the state veterinarian and the department of agriculture and rural development are asking owners to be vigilant of potential signs of illness.

Cases of canine parvovirus as well as a mysterious respiratory illness have the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on alert for any cases. But officials are also asking pet owners to do their part in vaccinating their dogs and cats and staying in close consultation with their vet.

"While the exact cause of this illness remains unknown, taking some basic steps to prevent a dog’s exposure to harmful germs can go a long way to protecting their overall health," said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland. 

Symptoms like coughing and sneezing in dogs may be something common like kennel cough. If owners fear the contagion their pet has contracted is more serious, it's important they reach out to their vet early. 

Parvo, which can be fatal to dogs, spreads when individuals come into contact with one another. 

There are also cases of a mysterious dog illness that's been noted in several states. A case reported out of Oakland County was only anecdotal and not tested by the state, an MDARD spokesperson said. 


Pet owners on alert as new mystery dog illness surfaces in nearby states

She says it's not clear if the illness is a virus or bacterial infection, making it challenging to treat - and the cough is persistent.

For anyone worried about a suspected illness, diagnostic testing is required to rule out other common cases. Owners can call the MSU vet lab at (517) 353-1683 for advice or assistance.

Kennel staff and animal shelters are also encouraged to follow intake and vaccination protocols when bringing in new dogs and continuing to follow isolation protocols.