A mysterious canine respiratory illness has been infecting thousands of dogs in at least 14 states in the US (Colorado, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Washington) causing a cough, runny eyes, and sneezing, and has even led to death in some rare cases! What is the cause of this mysterious disease? It may be bacterial or viral. However, it does not respond well (if at all) to traditional treatments, like antibiotics. According to Dr. Scott Weese of Ontario Veterinary College, this mysterious illness is caused by a microbial pathogen we’ve never seen before. (1) Weese argues that it is also possible that this respiratory illness could be a combination of pathogens concurrently- Bordetella (kennel cough), mycoplasma pneumonia, and canine influenza. (2)

This novel, mysterious pathogen is likely to have evolved from an unknown component of the canine microbiome. Researchers cannot confirm whether the pathogen is bacterial, viral, or fungal using traditional culturing or PCR methods. It is smaller than a typical bacterium in both cell size and genome size. Dr. David Needle of The University of New Hampshire conducted early metagenomic work that initially did not reveal any virus, bacteria, or fungi of concern. (3, 4) But, upon further investigation into their data, they did identify an abnormal portion of the genome of one non-culturable, bacterial-like organism, similar to Mycoplasma in a subset of the respiratory samples. (5) Their research group suggests this unknown Mycoplasma could be contributing to the disease. In addition, The San Diego Human Society has identified dogs with a presumed similar presentation of this mysterious respiratory illness as Streptococcus Equi zooepidemicus to play a possible role.

It is impossible to identify the specific strain that could contribute to this mysterious illness using traditional methods for testing, like culture methods. Fortunately, MiDOG can help! The MiDOG All-in-One Test diagnoses bacterial and fungal infections, even respiratory samples.

This test could help to identify what is causing the canine respiratory disease if it is of bacterial or fungal origin!

Utilizing Next-Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS) Technology in Veterinary Medicine to detect, identify, and diagnose any animal's infectious diseases/infection.

References:

  1. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/12/01/1216209026/dog-respiratory-illness-mystery-cause-symptoms-research
  2. https://vcahospitals.com/press-center/vca-news/canine-respiratory-illness
  3. https://colsa.unh.edu/new-hampshire-veterinary-diagnostic-laboratory/canine-respiratory-outbreak
  4. https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/2023/11/unh-researchers-provide-major-clue-mysterious-dog-illness-case
  5. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/mysterious-dog-illness-pet-research-vet-treatment-rcna127505

 


Categories: Dogs, Respiratory Infection

animal diagnostics

Validated by Veterinarians

“Clients expect their veterinarians to stay up to date on all matters that affect the health and well being of their non-human family members. The current technique that we have used to determine the presence and antibiotic sensitivity of organisms causing disease in our pets is over a century old.

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Michael Morgan, DVMQuail Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

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Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM, President of Forensic Veterinary Investigations, LLC – Boston, MA

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Kathy Wentworth, DVM, Diplomate ABVP Canine and Feline Practice – PetPoint Medical Center, Irvine, CA

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Michael Kavanagh, DVM, Practice owner – Saddleback Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

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Richard Harvey BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS – European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology – Head of Dermatology, Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service – Solihull, England UK

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Dr. Yaicha Peters, Animal Dermatology Clinic – San Diego

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Dr. Richard Harvey, BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS; European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology

“We’re seeing that, if we prescribe too many antibiotics or they’re taken too frequently, animals are developing inappropriate or pathogenic strains of bacteria. We’re also seeing that our antibiotics are just not working against them anymore… It’s a good example of why we need better diagnostic testing, like MiDOG, so that we’re selecting the correct antibiotic every time our patients have an infection.”

Dr. Alissa Rexo, DVM, CVA, DACVD, Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Dermatology