LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Animal Foundation said it is seeing a spike in canine respiratory diseases among dogs in the Las Vegas valley and so far, two dogs have died because of it.
According to a release, veterinarians at the shelter are seeing an increase in dogs with two highly contagious diseases: Strep Zoo and Canine Pneumovirus.
The shelter said that all known exposed dogs at the shelter have been placed into isolation for the next 10 to 14 days.
“These diseases are highly contagious and spread from dog to dog through kennels because of the large number of dogs in one location,” Dr. Casey Miller, chief veterinarian at The Animal Foundation, said. “In a shelter setting, it’s crucial we promptly isolate sick dogs for 10 to 14 days so we can prevent the spread of the disease to the rest of the shelter population.”
According to the release, a dog showing what it called severe symptoms of Strep Zoo was humanely euthanized on Oct. 15. Since then, the Animal Foundation said a second dog in the shelter died from the disease.
The shelter said that all dogs who are known to have been exposed have started a course of antibiotics and are “currently doing fine.”
Strep Zoo is a bacteria that can show up even in healthy animals, but symptoms for the disease usually appear after an animal’s immune system is compromised, according to the Animal Foundation.
“Signs include coughing, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy, labored breathing, and coughing blood. Clinical signs can quickly progress to pneumonia and may result in sudden death,” the release said.
Canine Pneumovirus is highly contagious to dogs. According to the Animal Foundation, there is no vaccine for the virus, and dogs do not have a natural immunity to it.
“Clinical signs include coughing and nasal discharge and can even progress to pneumonia,” the release said.
In addition to immediate testing and treatment, the Animal Foundation said they are continually monitoring the shelter population. The shelter says they are hosting an “urgent” adoption event on Oct. 20 and 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The release said adoption fees are waived for all adoptable dogs in the shelter during the urgent event.
“We need to get as many dogs out of the shelter as possible to prevent the spread of Strep Zoo and Canine Pneumovirus,” the shelter said. “Taking a dog out of the shelter and into a calm environment can reduce their stress and keep them healthy. This can make a major difference in whether they are affected by an infectious respiratory disease.”
The City of Las Vegas said in a post on X that Animal Protection Services officers are attempting to limit the number of dogs at the shelter by taking lost dogs that are microchipped to their owners instead of taking them to the shelter.