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Suspected case of mysterious dog illness in Michigan

Suspected case of mysterious dog illness in Michigan
Suspected case of mysterious dog illness in Michigan 01:49

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – A mysterious illness is hitting dogs around the country that has the potential to turn deadly, and there's now a suspected case in Royal Oak.

When seven-year-old Tucker began coughing in the middle of September, his owner, Amanda House, initially thought it was kennel cough. 

"I immediately kept him from other dogs. We were not boarding, we weren't going to dog parks or anything like that, and we were being very cautious on our walks not to come in contact with other dogs," House said. 

Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

But a month later, Tucker's coughing didn't let up.

"It just wasn't getting any better, and it wasn't going away. Thankfully, he didn't have any severe symptoms," House said.

At the vet clinic, Tucker's lab work came back clear. However, his cough is one of the symptoms connected to the mysterious illness affecting dogs around the U.S.

"They look and sound, and everything about them feels like it should be kennel cough type disease,  but they're just not responding like a normal kennel cough would," said Dr. Melissa Beyer, a veterinarian.

The illness doesn't respond to antibiotics, experts say.

"However, we can support the symptoms sometimes by nebulizing them or giving them some support, fluids, things that they need," said veterinarian Dr. Mike Hutchinson.

Tucker is no longer contagious, and his vet gave him a steroid to get rid of the cough.

House's advice to other pet owners:

"I think that's the most important thing is just early detection. So it doesn't become pneumonia or get worse," House said.

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