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Mysterious dog illness reaches New Hampshire, raises questions about kennels for the holidays

New Hampshire dog diagnosed with mysterious illness
New Hampshire dog diagnosed with mysterious illness 01:54

BEDFORD, NH - A mysterious dog illness is making its way across the country and has now popped up in New Hampshire. It has some vets questioning whether people should kennel their dogs for holiday travel.

"I would have some concern putting them in a boarding, or a play group, where I am not confident there are healthy animals surrounding it," said Kiko Bracker, a veterinarian at MSPCA Angell Medical Center in Jamaica Plain.

The illness is marked by persistent coughing, difficulty breathing, and nasal or eye discharge. Vets say it begins to mimic the signs of kennel cough but has a higher rate of becoming pneumonia. So far antibiotics have not been working on it.

"Looks like it's virus. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics, and antivirals won't be effective until we know what that virus is," said Bracker.

Vets at MSPCA Angell have seen similar cases in Massachusetts dating back to last year but have no confirmed cases of the mystery illness.

Kaleigh and Ryan Gordon live in Bedford, New Hampshire with their Australian shepherd who just turned one. His name is Tobey, and he came down with the mysterious illness this week.

"They did a chest x-ray and found out he does have pneumonia. They said this disease isn't responding to the doxycycline like kennel cough does, so they put him on two other antibiotics," said the Gordons. "He does go to daycare, which is where we are sure he got it from at some point. The other symptom we saw is he was coughing up this like white phlegm kind of thing, not throwing up, but like a mucous of some kind."

The Gordons are hopeful that Tobey will begin to recover in the coming days, however they are monitoring him in case it gets worse. 

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