A mysterious illness has been baffling veterinarians as it sickens dogs across the country, including reports of infection in Indiana and Illinois. Before you board your dogs for the holidays, you may want to keep reading.

"Mysterious and Potentially Fatal"

The disease, which is being called "mysterious and potentially fatal," has been reportedly causing respiratory symptoms that include coughing, sneezing, discharge of the eyes and nose, and lethargy.

Found Across the US Including Indiana + Illinois

Reported cases of the disease have been found in a number of states including Oregon, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as Colorado, Washington, Idaho, and California, according to KKTV.

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Antibiotic Resistant


In Oregon, over two hundred dogs have presented clinical symptoms as reported by their veterinarians. According to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, the cough associated with the illness is chronic, lasting 6 - 8 week or longer, and may also include pneumonia, both of which are resistant to antibiotic treatment.

attachment-mysterious canine illness

Highly Contagious Before Symptoms Appear

Viruses are more difficult to treat than bacterial infections. One veterinarian told CBS News that there are no good anti-viral treatments available and that currently, treating symptoms and administering fluids when needed are the current limited options. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms present, the animals have already gone through a contagious viral-shedding phase.

Protective Measures

One shelter in California has made the tough decision to halt owner surrenders in order to protect the dogs currently in their care.

San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) is pausing owner surrenders of dogs, except in emergencies that threaten the health of the pet, due to occurrences of a respiratory disease...

Protecting Your Dog

So how do you protect your dog? Since the disease can be passed before symptoms are presented, it is being advised that you keep your beloved pets at home to prevent possible exposure to the disease.

...people should avoid boarding their dogs, visiting dog day cares, dog parks, and anywhere else dogs typically gather outside of the same household until the illness is contained.

With the holidays approaching, many families board their pets but it may be in your best interest to keep them home to keep them safe. Keep reading to learn what foods are dangerous for your dogs this holiday season.

[Source: kktv; CBSNews]

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

Gallery Credit: Rachel Cavanaugh