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How to keep pets safe amid 'mystery dog illness'

A tan medium-sized dog stands near the camera with a ball in its mouth.
Meridian Canine Rescue

As reports of a "mystery dog illness" surface across the country, local experts are sharing tips to keep your dogs happy and healthy this holiday season.

This illness may not really be a mystery at all, but a new strain of already-common respiratory diseases that tend to spread easily among dogs. Nevertheless, local veterinarians like Boise Animal Health and Urgent Care Medical Director Dr. Michael Marshall are keeping a close eye on new cases.

“Some of the cases feel like maybe they're a little more resistant to treatment, but most of them will respond. It's kind of an individual thing,” said Dr. Marshall.

He says while he hasn’t yet seen any severe cases or sudden deaths in his own practice, it’s always a good idea to keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date and limit their interactions with other dogs in public.

“If you're concerned, just have some professional look at it and just kind of figure out what's going on –– is it something maybe they can clear, or something we need to kind of work on to keep it from going too far,” said Dr. Marshall.

If you’re traveling over the holidays, be sure to explore different options for boarding or dog-sitting to help minimize your dog’s risk of contracting the illness.

Hi! I’m Sofia Blenkinsop, a sophomore at Boise State thrilled to work with Boise State Public Radio. After co-founding a podcast club in high school and writing and editing for my school newspaper, I’m excited to gain newsroom experience with the wonderful folks here at BSPR.

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