CTX veterinarians prepared for dog flu outbreak - KXXV Central Texas News Now

CTX veterinarians prepared for dog flu outbreak

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed two positive cases of canine influenza virus, or dog flu, as of the first week of June.

Hewitt Veterinary Hospital Dr. Kristin Dodson said although she's not aware of any local cases, she and other veterinarians are preparing for an outbreak.

"Canine influenza is an infectious, contagious disease similar to our influenza. It's transmitted between close contact between dogs, so dogs that are boarding, grooming or at dog parks and dog show facilities are most likely to get canine influenza," she said.

The symptoms of dog flu are similar to ours, Dodson said.

"They may have some mild runny nose symptoms, coughing, decreased appetite, that sort of thing. Rarely, it can turn into something more serious with secondary pneumonia or more serious respiratory issues. It does have a very low death rate, but it is possible," Dodson said.

Abraham Seitz owns two young dalmatians in Waco and didn't want to take any chances.

"[The veterinarian] recommended to get vaccinated for it, along with distemperment and parvo and all of the other shots they get," Seitz said.

One-year-old Zoey and 11-month-old Orion like to play with other dogs at the park, which is where Dodson said they're more likely to catch the flu.

"You can never be too cautious, especially just seeing that there's two confirmed cases inside of Texas. When it comes to your dog's health, I think there's no expense that needs to be spared," he said.

Although there are no reports of an outbreak in Texas, Dodson said her hospital is prepared.

"We've had the vaccine in stock, and we've talked about it with our clients. If we determine they're at risk for it, then we vaccinate for them. We also just have some on hand in case there is an outbreak closer by that we can start vaccination," Dodson said.

Dodson said the vaccine is a series of two boosters. It takes about two or three weeks after that second vaccination before your dog is protected.

If you have any questions about dog flu and the vaccine for it, contact your veterinarian.

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