Concerns over canine respiratory disease closes some area dog parks – Voice Of Muscatine

(Submitted/City of Muscatine)

The Muscatine Dog Park will remain open to the public for now according to officials with the City of Muscatine. Concerns over a mysterious canine respiratory disease have prompted several communities to close their dog parks.

The illness is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection in dogs that has been occurring in many parts of the country with symptoms similar to canine influenza (kennel cough). Respiratory diseases are spread through direct contact or through water droplets from sneezing and coughing. Other common signs of the illness include labored breathing, nose or eye discharge, lethargy, and decreased appetite.

Fewer hours of daylight and colder temperatures keep the usage of the dog parks to a minimum and with three enclosures available pet owners should be able to limit contact with other canines.

“We share the concerns about this illness and urge pet owners to contact their veterinarians if their canines show any symptoms,” Carol Webb, City Administrator, said. “While the dog park is an opportunity for canines to socialize, we ask that pet owners be responsible and not bring their canines to the park if they are sick for any reason.”

Veterinarians recommend pet owners make sure that their canines are up to date on their route yearly vaccinations. Contact your veterinarian if you are unsure about the status of your canine’s vaccines. It is also recommended that canines do not share dog bowls, toys, or doggy chews, and avoid boarding kennels, dog parks, and doggy day care facilities if you are unsure about the health status of other dogs in the environment.

The disease has been reported in 14 states and the cause of the mysterious illness remains under investigation.

Contact your veterinarian for more information about this illness and prevention.

The Muscatine Dog Park is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk unless closed for maintenance or due to weather conditions. For more information on the park click on the following link: Muscatine Dog Park.