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Pet parents warned of an increase in respiratory infections among dogs

A respiratory illness is affecting dogs
Karsten Winegeart
A respiratory illness is affecting dogs

The illness has raised questions about the existence of a new pathogen.

Dogs might develop a fever, a persistent cough and appear lethargic - as some of the symptoms in what's being labeled as atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex.

"Whatever is causing this current strain isn't really showing up in our standard testing so they're sort of not sure what it is and it's definitely put folks onto alert," said Sarah Aguilar, the director of animal services for Santa Barbara Public Health Department.

She says the infection could be mild or severe and life threatening and urged owners to be vigilant.

"The biggest tip of prevention is similar to when people are sick. Stay home. Don't take your dog out to a dog park or out to walk through Petco or PetSmart if they're sick," she said.

Pet owners are urged to contact their vet if they are concerned.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.