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Dog care businesses suffer, as unknown respiratory illness remains active in canines – KRDO

COLORADO, USA (KRDO) – Veterinary clinics in Colorado Springs says they are still receiving calls and cases for the unknown upper respiratory illness that’s been spreading in dogs since early November, and as a result local dog-care businesses are taking a major hit financially.
Camirae McClure has owned Clearwater Grooming and Pet Care in Woodland Park for nearly a decade.
She says as a result of the ongoing virus, and the fear it’s caused amongst dog owners, it’s left her with a fraction of the clients she usually sees per day.
“We’re used to doing at least 8 to 10 dogs a piece, and we’re down to maybe two or three a day total for the three of us.” said McClure about her small crew of two groomers, and herself.
She explains the problem is worse because groomers work based off of commission, and as a result her two employees are considering other lines of work, as their cliental have dipped.
“I’d say probably in the last two weeks is when we’ve seen probably the biggest impact and the most cancellations.” said McClure.
There’s been enough concern that the state is even doing research on the virus with the help of some universities, and has sent out emails for licensed businesses on how they should proceed.
“Basically to up our sanitizing, don’t let the dogs co-mingle, no nose to nose contact. They kind of are treating it the same as we did with COVID.” explained McClure on the bulletin they were sent.
It’s a troubling trend for businesses like Clearwater, with the upcoming months typically crucial for boosts in business.
“Usually we can easily double double the amount of dogs we can take care of, double the amount of dogs that we’re grooming for people… it’s kind of scary to see it this slow at this time of year.” said McClure.
The state, as well as local vet clinics in Colorado Springs say there’s still no set treatment for the virus.
An employee with Westside Animal Hospital tells KRDO13 that for most cases that turn fatal, it is likely due to a secondary illness impacting those dogs at the same time. As a result they and the state both suggest owners make sure their pet is up to date on its vaccine shots.
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Tyler is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.
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