Dog grooming businesses are suffering as the unknown respiratory disease remains active in canines

COLORADO, Conn. (KRDO) – Veterinary clinics in Colorado Springs say they are still receiving calls and cases of the unknown upper respiratory illness which spreads to dogs from the beginning of Novemberand as a result local dog grooming businesses are taking a significant financial hit.

Camirae McClure has owned Clearwater Grooming and Pet Care in Woodland Park for nearly a decade.

She says that as a result of the ongoing virus and the fear it causes dog owners, it has left her with a fraction of the customers she normally sees each day.

“We’re used to doing at least 8 to 10 dogs a piece and we’re maybe two or three total a day for the three of us.” McClure said of her small crew of two groomers and herself.

She explains that the problem is worse because groomers work on a commission basis, and as a result her two employees are considering other lines of work as their clients have dropped off.

“I would say probably the last two weeks is when we probably saw the biggest impact and the most cancellations.” McClure said.

There was quite a bit of concern about this the state is even doing research on the virus with the help of some universities, and has emailed licensed businesses on how to proceed.

“Basically to improve our disinfection, don’t let the dogs mingle, don’t come nose-to-nose. They kind of deal with it like we did with COVID.” McClure explained in the bulletin they were sent.

It’s a worrisome trend for businesses like Clearwater, with the coming months typically critical for boosting business.

“Usually we can easily double the number of dogs we can care for, double the number of dogs we care for people … it’s scary to see it so slow this time of year.” McClure said.

The state, as well as local veterinary clinics in Colorado Springs, say there is still no established treatment for the virus.

An employee at Westside Animal Hospital tells KRDO13 that for most cases that become fatal, it’s likely due to a secondary illness affecting those dogs at the same time. As a result, both they and the state recommend that owners make sure their pet is up-to-date on their vaccinations.

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