Golden Retrievers of America held a dog show in Albany, Oregon over summer and veterinary experts believe it could have been a super spreading event of the mysterious canine respiratory illness that has gone nationwide.
“There was an outbreak this summer of canine respiratory disease at a dog show in Albany. It was a big concern and some dogs actually passed away during that outbreak. They were never able to find an etiologic agent,” Bend Veterinary Clinic medical director Dr. Byron Maas said.
The etiologic agent is the pathogen that creates a certain type of disease or medical condition.
The popular Central Oregon Golden Retrievers Group was supposed to march in Saturday’s Bend Christmas Parade. They have since backed out due to concerns over the illness.
“The overall concern is that there’s just no enough information about this respiratory illness and it’s spreading so rapidly. Out of an abundance of caution, I think taking a pause from the parade this year is best for all the dogs involved,” Central Oregon Golden Retriever member Courtney Ham said.
Hundreds of cases have been reported from veterinarians in Oregon. The illness has also been found in several different states across the country.
“We are planning a little bit of holiday travel and we did make an adjustment to have (our dog) go to his trainer instead of the dog boarding facility, just to keep him safe, keep the other dogs there safe. Do everything we possibly can to avoid this one,” Ham said.
Dr. Maas says most cases have not been fatal, but the veterinarian community is closely watching the illness.
“We’re screening the calls very carefully and trying to get better history. Finding out if the animals are vaccinated so we can decide ‘do they need to come into the vet or is it something they can maybe watch for another 24 hours?’ Our vigilance is heightened because of it,” Dr. Maas said.
Doctor Maas says dog owners should try to avoid high risk areas, such as dog parks, doggy day cares and anywhere else dogs come within close contact of each other.