Veterinarians are telling Texas dog owners to be cautious as a new strain of highly contagious dog flu spreads across the state.
Dr. Amber Breclaw, a veterinarian at Forest Creek Animal Hospital in Round Rock, TX, told KXAN that she’s very concerned about the increase of dog flu cases in her area.
Researchers believe that the H3N2 strain made its way to Texas from the Chicago area. The virus causes infected dogs to have similar symptoms as kennel cough. Aside from a cough, affected dogs may have a fever, lack of appetite and low energy.
“Because it’s so contagious, we’re taking extra precautions with coughing dogs,” said Breclaw. “Sometimes we’ll go outside and get gowned up to make sure we’re not spreading to other patients or the hospital.”
Over the last week, Breclaw says many dogs have come into their animal hospital with the same symptoms. “It is a very big concern in this holiday season just with all the dogs boarding and everyone in close proximity,” Breclaw said. “We are a little scared about it spreading a lot more before it gets better.”
If your dog does end up with a case of dog flu, don’t panic. Veterinarians say that there are treatments available and the mortality rate for this strain of flu is very low.