An Instagram-famous dog owner has shared tips on how pet lovers can stop their furry friends from catching a mystery virus sweeping the US.
The life-threatening respiratory disease first emerged in Oregon but has quickly spread to Indiana, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada and throughout the Northeast.
Dogs are most likely to contract the infection by being in close contact with other canines, which includes locations such as daycares, parks, groomers and boarding kennels.
The disease can leave canines lethargic, coughing and sneezing with nasal and/or eye discharge.
Instagram user bradythecorgi, who documents his Corgi’s named Brady and Graffiti to his almost 300,000 followers, posted a video on Sunday on the precautions they were taking to avoid catching the virus.
A dog owner gave people six tips on how to make sure dogs do not get a mysterious dog illness that’s been contagious in the US since mid-August
It is important to clean a dog’s nose due to the illness being respiratory and a symptom being a runny nose
Dog parks are a popular location for canines to walk around with their owners and to bond with other animals in the process
The pet owner showed users how he washes his dog’s paws and nose after a walk to make sure the canine does not catch the illness.
Since atypical canine infectious respiratory disease is contagious, the dog owner recommended to take breaks from dog parks.
The animal lover said even if your dog is ‘stinky’ like Brady or Graffiti you should avoid taking your best friend to a groomer who could wash an average eight canines a day.
Bradythecorgi also suggested that dog owners do not stop to say hello to other animals while walking to avoid close contact between pest.
The influencer said dogs should also avoid public water bowls, especially if they’re located in a popular dog park.
He eventually reminded owners that it’s important to just ‘don’t panic and watch out for symptoms.’
University of New Hampshire believe they have identified the bacteria that’s causing the spate of illness.
Dr David Needle, a veterinary pathologist who led the research, said it was a ‘funky’ organism — that is as yet unnamed — and had not been observed before.
His team found the bug by performing forensic tests on 70 dogs who’d developed the tell-tale symptoms over the last two years.
Dr Needle he said this was ‘new as a potential cause of disease, but it is likely to be — or to have evolved from — a component of the dog microbiome [millions of bacteria found inside the animals’ gut].’
He also described the bacteria as being smaller than other types and said it had few specific genetic characteristics – making it harder to detect.
Vets have previously suggested the disease is spread via virus-infected respiratory droplets released into the air when dogs sneeze, cough or bark.
Dogs can get extremely close to other animals while passing them during a walk or even by chance at any indoor or outdoor location
Some dog parks have water bowls for animals who walk around in warm climate and can be used by hundreds of dogs a day if the location is popular
Dog groomers can wash up to 8 animals a day if their business is popular enough. If a dog is not groomed, they could become ‘stink’ like Brady and Graffiti
It’s easy to spot several symptoms if one looks closely enough, which include coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, snotty noses, and zero energy.
No cases of the disease passing to humans have been reported.
Further tests will now be carried out to confirm whether this bacteria is behind the disease.
In the research, which is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, the scientists tested samples from 30 sick dogs from New Hampshire.
They also tested another 40 samples from dogs in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Results showed 21 of the 30 New Hampshire samples contained the previously unknown bacteria.