BOZEMAN (AP) — The Department of Livestock and local veterinarians are monitoring an outbreak of severe canine respiratory disease in Montana.
Veterinarians in Bozeman, Livingston, Billings, Butte, Big Timber, Roundup and Red Lodge have reported seeing dogs with coughing, difficulty breathing and fever. Assistant State Veterinarian Tahnee Szymanski said Friday the symptoms are similar to kennel cough, but the vaccine for kennel cough is not protecting the dogs.
Dogs with more critical infections have developed pneumonia. A small number have died. Young animals seem particularly sensitive.
“It is confirmed that the cause of this respiratory disease is Canine Influenza,” said Jarod Moss, Medical director at Creekside Veterinary Hospital
Canine influenza has never been confirmed in the area before. The virus is relatively new to the United States.
“Your dog is going to get sick regardless, and you just have to take precautionary measures and you have to take them to the vet if they get sick,” said Lacy Wood, Vet Tech and animal science major.
Creekside Veterinary Hospital in the Bozeman area has had 25 percent of their patients confirmed with Canine influenza or flu and other veterinary offices in Gallatin County are also seeing other kinds of respiratory diseases.
In the meantime, the Department of Livestock recommends pet owners limit their dog’s contact with other pets in the community.
MTN’s Kenneth Webb also contributed