Mysterious dog disease hits Virginia city: 'There's an epidemic underway'

Veterinarians in Virginia are warning pet owners to be on the lookout for a mysterious disease — similar to whooping cough — spreading among canines in the Charlottesville area.

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The Autumn Trails Veterinary Center in Charlottesville told CBS 19 they've treated roughly 22 dogs for the unknown disease in the past week. Concerned, the veterinary clinic contacted other practices in the area to see if they were noticing a similar trend.

"There is an epidemic underway in the Charlottesville area," Autumn Trails announced in a Sunday Facebook post. "It appears to be highly contagious, with more than 150 cases seen in the community in the past month."

Many dogs coming in with the disease, which can last for weeks, are “well vaccinated,” CBS 19 reported. Vets are running tests to determine what exactly the disease is and how it can be treated.

Symptoms of the unknown illness include coughing, sneezing, low-grade fevers and lethargy, according to Autumn Trails.

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Emily Gordon, manager of Autumn Trails, told the news station she suspects the sickness is coming from “dog parks, groomers, boarding [and] kennels.”

She cautioned pet owners to be wary of socializing their dog until the illness is contained. In the meantime, Autumn Trails assured customers it will take proper precautions.

"Any dog that is boarding with us that starts exhibiting these symptoms will be immediately placed in isolation," the clinic wrote. "If you must bring your loved one in for medical treatment, please advise the staff if your pet is exhibiting symptoms before entering the building."

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.