Owensboro vets warn of respiratory illness outbreak in dogs, ahead of dog park opening


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — Veterinarians in Owensboro are asking dog owners to be on the lookout after many canines have developed a cough.
The outbreak comes less than a week before a new dog park is set to open.

Respiratory issues for dogs can be very contagious, which could be a concern if your dog is a big fan of dog parks.

There are many dogs in Owensboro like Guiness the Corgi who like to take their people for a walk every day.

But many dogs in Owensboro have also developed a worrisome cough.

“These patients have been presenting with coughing and sneezing,” said Dr. Laura Boarman, managing DVM at Kentuckiana Animal Clinic.

Veterinarians are dealing with an outbreak in illness but the exact cause is unknown.

“It’s generalized right now, but we have a few respiratory panels pending.”

Respiratory illnesses spread quickly between dogs, which is why a sign on the door at Kentuckiana Animal Clinic asks patients to call from the parking lot if their dog is coughing,
“We’ve been doing exams in the parking lot if needed, to avoid exposure to other patients.”

The timing is also unfortunate, because it comes the week before the grand opening of Castlen Dog Park. If your dog wants to run and play with the others, there are steps you should take first, including these vaccinations:

“Bordatella which is your classic kennel cough vaccine, but also distemper, parvo, leptospirosis, rabies. But there’s also an optional vaccine that we recommend now called canine influenza.”

As for Guiness, his family says they aren’t worried.

“We’re up on his vaccinations and shots and everything,” says Chris French.

THEY SAY the Pembroke Welsh Corgi like to play alone, anyway.

So despite the outbreak, every day for Guiness will still be a walk in the park.

The good news: most of the cases have not been serious, and so far can be treated with antibiotics.

The ribbon cutting for that dog park is Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Legion Park.

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