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North Texas vets watching for canine influenza in dogs

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Symptoms to watch out for include coughing, fever, sneezing, a refusal to eat or eye/nose discharge.

LEWISVILLE, Texas — You might not be the only one in the house feeling a little under the weather these days.

“In dogs, there’s something called the canine infectious respiratory disease complex, which encompasses a bunch of different respiratory viruses,” Dr. Sonya Hansen of BluePearl Pet Hospital North Texas in Lewisville said. “It can be viruses and actually bacterial infections. And it can present very similarly, so we often don’t know which one particularly a dog is being affected with.”

Veterinarians in North Texas said they are keeping a close eye on respiratory illnesses, including kennel cough and canine influenza.

“I know there have been cases in Texas,” Dr. Hansen said. “We haven’t specifically had any cases at our hospital yet or reported right in the Dallas area, but we know that it is moving.”

Symptoms to watch out for include coughing, fever, sneezing, a refusal to eat or eye/nose discharge.

“If you notice your dog has some, like, nasal discharge, coughing or sneezing, I would advise (that you) don’t bring your dog to any dog park or gathering, event,” Dr. Sandy Young, who works with Hansen, said.

“It is highly contagious, so it’s spread from dog to dog and it’s usually spread in respiratory secretions, so through the cough and sneeze,” Hansen added. “If a dog were to sneeze on your hands or you were to pet a dog and then you were to pet your own dog, you could transmit it that way.”

Humans don’t need to worry about getting sick from their dog, Dr. Hansen told WFAA.  

If you notice changes in your dog’s gum color or if your pet cannot catch his/her breath, you should consider going to the emergency vet, Hansen said.

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