Mystery illness sickening dogs has come to New Hampshire

Mystery illness sickening dogs has come to New Hampshire

A mystery respiratory illness that harms dogs has been identified in New Hampshire.

By Stacy Milbouer

November 30, 2023

The perplexing respiratory sickness affecting dogs across the country has made its way to New Hampshire, as well as 13 other states, including Rhode Island and Massachusetts, a study found.

Some dogs have died from the sickness, which starts with a cough that can last up to eight weeks and doesn’t respond to antibiotics, according to the Global Center for Health Security. Other symptoms, which can mimic symptoms of kennel cough or flu, can include cough, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite.

David Needle, the pathology section chief at the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture at the University of New Hampshire, began studying the mysterious illness over a year and confirmed this month that dogs in New Hampshire tested positive for the disease. He believes it is caused by an unusual microorganism that is difficult to identify. Needle’s department collected samples from Oregon and plans to obtain samples from Colorado and Illinois to continue the study.

In his Nov. 21 findings, Needle recommended dog owners make sure their pets are up to date on vaccinations and avoid situations where their dog is in close contact with other dogs.  



  • Stacy Milbouer

    Stacy Milbouer is an award-winning journalist and has covered New Hampshire for many publications including the Boston Globe, New Hampshire Magazine, and the Nashua Telegraph.

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