LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A mystery illness is making dogs ill across the United States. Veterinary laboratories in several states are investigating the unusual respiratory illness. 

What You Need To Know

  •  A mystery illness is making dogs sick, and in some forms it can be fatal.

  •  Kentucky has seen no cases of the infection so far

  • Judy Lawson owns The Highland Dog in Lousiville and she said she makes dog safety her number one priority

  • Lawson said she has never had an outbreak of any kind of illness at her facility

Oregon, Colorado and New Hampshire are among the states that have seen cases of the infection, which has caused lasting respiratory disease and pneumonia. The infection is not responding to antibiotics. No cases have been reported in Kentucky, but practicing healthy habits is always important, especially for the owner of the Highland Dog.

Judy Lawson owns The Highland Dog in Louisville and for the last 10 years, she has been living her dream. 

“This is my passion. I love the dogs. This is my favorite thing in the world,” said Lawson.

The Highland Dog boards dogs overnight and offers day care. It is fully booked for Thanksgiving and Christmas and just like people, pets too can exchange illnesses when around each other. The owner said they are consicous of that.

“Of course, they’re more prone to illness and especially anxiety, which can cause some problems for them when they’re away from home. This is a new place. They’re not with their owners. They’re, you know, they’re a bit more anxious than they would be if they were just at home,” she said.

That’s why if you’re boarding a pet this holiday season, your four-legged friend is going to need some vaccinations.

“All of our customers are required to have a rabies,bordetellar and distemper shots. We recommend the flu shot, even though we don’t require it, but it is recommended,” she said. 

She also said because they are a small facility, the staff knows the dogs well and can recognize if one is not feeling well.

“We are able to detect whether or not they’re acting their normal self and if we see something that we feel is a bit off or that they may be getting sick, we will keep an eye on them,” she said. 

The facility is crate-free and the staff updates its Facebook daily with pictures and videos of the dogs they are caring for.

“Number one priority is our dogs’ safety and happiness,” she said. 

Lawson said she has never had an outbreak of any kind of illness at her facility.

The director of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Labroatory at Oregon State University said without a clear way to define the disease or test for it, it is hard to say how many have dogs have died from the severe form of the infection.