MANCHESTER, N.H. — Veterinarians in Southern New Hampshire are seeing a rise in serious cases of pneumonia among dogs.

“Since May I think we are topping 250ish,” said Dr. Taylor Driscoll, an ER Vet at the Veterinary Emergency Center in Manchester.

Dogs like one-year-old Bella, who is now on the mend at the pet hospital, are contracting the respiratory illness that can sometimes be fatal.

“We have had a few fatalities here,” said Dr. Driscoll.

Dr. Driscoll tells Boston 25 News that the rapidly progressive illness has vets worried.

“We suspect it started here in Southern New Hampshire. I got reports that it seems to have spread down to Massachusetts and I have reports from a clinic in Maine that has started to see it as well,” she said.

And according to Dr. Driscoll it seems to attack young, healthy dogs bypassing very young puppies and older dogs.

“But this is resulting in pneumonia and the pneumonia deaths we are seeing are in our young otherwise healthy creatures,” she said.

Dr. Driscoll says these are symptoms dog owners should watch for:

Initial signs include:

Progresses to:

  • cough
  • fever
  • lack of appetite
  • lethargic dog

Dr. Driscoll says pay close attention because early indicators don’t show the seriousness of the illness.

“So, you can have a dig with a very mild runny nose that when we take X-rays actually has rampant pneumonia,” said Dr. Driscoll.

She showed us X-rays from a healthy dog and some from Bella now on the mend. You can clearly see the white fibrous growths from pneumonia in Bella’s X-rays. And besides keeping an eye on your best friend she says if you see any signs of illness keep your dog home and away from other dogs.

“The fear is that as it continues to have all that community spread that it will actually start to spread throughout New England.”

Dr. Driscoll says they are treating this aggressively with antibiotics. And she has one big tip — be extra careful over Labor Day and keep your pet home if possible.

She says leaving your dog at a kennel or boarding facility could expose your pet to a potentially deadly disease.

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By Richard

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