If COVID-19 wasn't enough to worry about, now there's a new virus going around the Berkshires and surrounding areas that is affecting dogs in a big way.

In a post to the Great Barrington Community Board Facebook Group, a member named Dale who is from the southern Berkshires shared that his rat terrier died this week due to this new infection. Dale's veterinarian gave him and his family some important advice to follow so that his other dog will not die. Dale wants this message and advice to reach as many people as possible so their dogs aren't taken by this virus.

Before we get to the advice, we should let you know what the symptoms are so you know what to look for with your dog(s).

  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Making a great effort to breathe properly

Dale also mentioned that his dog would not eat which in turn, lost a great amount of weight, then slowly weakened. The dog passed away peacefully in her sleep according to Dale. Dale's other dog is showing preliminary signs of the same type of infection.

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Tips and Advice from Dale's Veterinarian:

  • Do not put your dog in daycare (the virus is highly infectious)
  • Do not put your dog into a kennel
  • Isolate or quarantine your pet until the situation is resolved
  • Do your best to keep your dog well-fed
  • Practice caution in dog parks or other areas dogs can come in close contact with one another.

One observation that Dale made during this process is that his dog displayed some of the symptoms that he (Dale) has seen by people who are infected with COVID-19 or its variant.

In addition to Dale's situation, Bilmar Veterinary Services added that they have documented pneumonia and white blood cell counts that are very high in the affected animals. There are six current cases with these symptoms that Bilmar is currently treating. Most of these dogs are doing well now.

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