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‘Last-resort’ antibiotic saves family dog from mystery disease


A Southern California family said a “last-resort” antibiotic saved their show dog after he fell ill with a mysterious, treatment-resistant respiratory disease plaguing pups around the country.

The Oliver family’s Golden Retriever, Ike, got sick in September while on the road competing in dog shows, ABC7 Los Angeles reported.

Ike was taken to a veterinary hospital where he was quarantined.

After multiple tests, the 5-year-old pup was diagnosed with a strange illness known as canine infectious respiratory disease complex.

There is not yet a specific treatment or drug for illness.

A stranger online suggested chloramphenicol, which is used for serious bacterial infections, and within hours Ike was breathing better, his family said.

Days later, he was able to return home.

One Southern California family is speaking up after an intense, “last-resort” antibiotic saved their dog from a mysterious respiratory illness spreading among pups across the country.
ABC7

“It’s a very, very strong last-resort antibiotic, but it’s what saved him,” Becky Oliver told ABC7. “Otherwise he would not be here.”

The disease has also been reported in Oregon, Indiana, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and throughout the Northeast, with some instances fatal.

Since August, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has received more than 200 reports of the condition, it said.

Becky and John Oliver’s Golden Retriever, Ike, got sick in September with a rare respiratory disease and was cured when a stranger recommended the antibiotic chloramphenicol.
ABC7

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department said 10 cases were reported there in less than a week.

Labs in other states, however, have been studying it since 2022.

Long Island’s North Shore Animal League America said it has not seen any uptick in the disease among its rescue population.

The Oliver family’s Golden Retriever, Ike, got sick in September while on the road competing in dog shows.
ABC7

“With winter upon us dogs, just like people, are prone to an increase in respiratory illnesses, especially if they spend time indoors with other pets,” Mark Verdino, the organization’s chief of veterinary staff, told The Post.

They are particularly susceptible at kennels, groomers, daycare, and dog parks.

“The importance of being current on vaccination and getting your pet seen quickly by a veterinarian if respiratory symptoms develop cannot be overstated,” Verdino added.

The puzzling canine infectious respiratory disease complex has stumped vets across the country.
ABC7

Dogs may show symptoms of a typical upper respiratory disease — sneezing, a runny nose, coughing and a lack of energy — but don’t test positive for common diseases, according to veterinarians.

The puzzling disease, which can be resistant to standard treatments, has stumped vets and is still being researched. Some believe another antibiotic, doxycycline, may also be effective.




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