“Mystery” Dog Illness?

Reprinted with permission of Dr. Will Falconer, DVM

We had such great response to our recent Double Trouble Respiratory Illnesses article, that we asked guest author and holistic veterinarian Dr. Will Falconer to do a deeper dive on the respiratory illness that is plaguing American dogs.

Well, this is causing quite a stir.

A “mystery illness” making dogs sick and even killing them?

Fresh off the COVID-19 “mystery,” I see your gun shyness and raise you a reality check (sorry, a poker reference, though it’s been since childhood that I was enamored with that game).

First, let’s get some facts on the table.

That often takes a bit of reading between the lines and interpreting the “fear porn” that would have you blindly vaccinating every dog for every possible thing.

Gather your confidence, fear not, and keep moving ahead.

That’s of course Dr. WhiteCoat’s current recommendation: get current on vaccinations!

But you know the proper definition of current, right? Immunity doesn’t run out like a gas tank.

And you know about duration of immunity, and that empowers you to say No to that goofy idea that your animals need more shots.

What we know so far

It’s been appropriately named: “aCIRD” (atypical canine infectious respiratory disease)

So named because it’s a cough (respiratory) that lasts much longer than most (atypical in duration, and in not finding the typical bacteria or viruses to blame).

It’s less responsive to typical antibiotic treatments given for coughs

So, is it a virus, maybe a mycoplasma? The latter is suggested by a short DNA sequence isolated. These are more like bacteria, but lack cell walls.

If you’re into fearful narratives, USA Today has this funky headline to increase your pulse: “Mysterious and fatal dog respiratory illness now reported in 14 states: See the map.”

Damn them. It’s hardly fatal, though it has spread. As the guy on Dragnet used to say, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.”

An epidemiologist/zoonosis researcher from Guelph thinks it just may be media hype. He points out how wildly magnified things can become thanks to click bait headlines like the above.

A researcher from U. of New Hampshire, Dr. David Needle, says this is an odd duck pathogen:

“…is new as a potential cause of disease, but it is likely to be – or to have evolved from – a component of the dog microbiome”

Odd that. Hmmm.

As he’s been the one researching this the longest, his take on fatality is probably the most reasonable:

According to Needle, the disease is not always fatal, and the small percentage of dogs who have died thus far had underlying health issues prior to becoming ill.”

Sound familiar? Most of COVID-19 deaths were similarly in sickened people from other causes. Remember the term “co-morbidities,” at least early on in the pandemic? That was before the intelligent voices on the front lines were being censored so that the mRNA jab was made to appear to be the only solution.

Like the dog flu before it, or like the long history of kennel cough, the dogs most likely to be affected are those grouped in close quarters with other dogs.

Prevention should be simple

So, there’s some prevention/catch your breath advice right?

Not a great time to bring your dog into big groups.

Unless you’re kenneling or going to mass dog gatherings, the odds of your dog getting this illness are pretty remote.

Curing the sick, too

Like dog flu before it, this should be curable with a well chosen “genus epidemicus,” the homeopathic remedy that fits the most cases.

Homeopathy has a long history of both preventing and curing epidemic diseases, in humans as well as animals. It’s often the same remedy that does both (We go deeper into this in my Nosodes, Tautodes & Titers course).

Finding those symptoms most useful to identify such a remedy for this “mysterious” disease, that’s the next step.

So far, symptoms are too general to be useful.

Coughing, sneezing, and lethargy.

One of my colleagues added this to the list, but only based on one patient she saw:

  • Deep, productive wet cough
  • Gut wrenching cough
  • Long bouts of coughing
  • White or cloudy sputum
  • Fever

Want to help find the remedy?

If we can get more cases with detailed symptoms, we’ll get somewhere, and I’m happy to do this analysis if you have experience with this disease you care to share.

For example, I’d be asking clients with sick dogs questions like:

  • What were the very first symptoms that your dog showed when you knew something was amiss?
  • Does sneezing precede coughing?
  • Do they come together in each bout of symptoms?
  • What seems to provoke coughing (eating, drinking, exertion, etc)?
  • Describe the cough: wet, dry, honking, 1 or 2 or 20 in a bout?
  • Is there gagging at the end of the cough?
  • Swallowing after the cough, like something has come up?
  • Any discharges evident: eyes, nose, stool changes?
  • If discharges, what color (brown, yellow, green)?
  • If discharges, do they seem to irritate the area they fall on (redness of the nostrils, for example)?

And general symptoms:

  • Does your dog seem thirstier than usual? Or the opposite?
  • Does your dog feel feverish?
  • Seeking warmth or cool since sick?
  • Trembling, shivering?

If you’ve seen a case (vets included, of course) or have had a dog suffering this disease, please simple reply to this email and be as detailed as you can in describing what you saw.

Homeopathic colleagues: if you’ve cured any cases, please include your most promising remedies.

I’ll publish a blog post on the likely remedies and how to use them.

Working together, we can likely bury the “mystery” and just get on with preventing and curing this disease.


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Will Falconer is a very popular guest author for The Tenpenny Report. Read his article on Apoquel here. Dr. Falconer started out in conventional veterinary practice in 1980, using all the latest drugs and surgeries. Around 2010, he made the connection that his sick animal patients were often falling ill from veterinary intervention that ironically was being done in the name of prevention. He realized that many animals were victims of over-vaccination, toxic pest control and toxic, lifeless diets. Today, he is a certified veterinary homeopath, and his purpose is to help you sidestep the damage of conventional “prevention” with a better way, one he calls “The Natural Path.” Visit his website here

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