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AZ Humane Society: 'Zero reported cases' in state of mystery dog illness

Dogs in over a dozen states have been diagnosed with a respiratory illness, and no one knows much about it.

Symptoms of the illness include lethargy, loss of appetite and coughing. Veterinarians are investigating whether the disease is caused by a bacteria or virus.

Dr. Melissa Thompson is vice president of medical operations for the Arizona Humane Society. She says dog owners don’t need to worry.

“I spoke with the state vet last week, and there was nothing. And actually there was just a memo sent from the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association that said that at this point we had zero reported cases,” she said.

Thompson says owners can take precautions, like making sure pets are up to date on their vaccinations.

“You want to try to limit the other dogs that your dog is hanging around with,” she also said. ”Folks shouldn’t be allowing their dogs to share water bowls.”

Thompson recommends visiting a veterinarian if symptoms arise.

Naomi DuBovis is an intern at KJZZ. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School. She has worked as a producer and anchor at Blaze Radio ASU and a podcast reporter at the State Press. She has also written for Downtown Devil. She is from Phoenix, and her favorite pastimes include reading, singing and playing piano.