Augusta, GA – A new and quick spreading strain of the dog flu is making its way south.
On Thursday, reports confirmed 2 more dogs in Asheville, Nouth Carolina have been diagnosed with the virus.
News Channel 6’s Margaret-Ann carter spoke to local veterinarians to find out how you can keep your loved one safe.
Several dog parks in parts of Georgia have already been closed down because of an outbreak of dog flu.
It’s a new and fast spreading strain of respiratory infection, but difficult to point out because it’s so similar to kennel cough and other viruses.
“You’ll see sneezing, coughing, some nasal discharge, we are seeing some fever, some persistent fever, that can occur with this influenza as well,” Scarlett Timmons, with Westside Animal Hospital said.
Dr. Scarlett Timmons says the good news is that they aren’t seeing as many deaths from the virus as they originally thought.
The outbreak started in Chicago and has spread to 30 states, including Georgia and South Carolina.
“As far as keeping them safe from other animals, it’s similar to the spread of other respiratory diseases, so aerosol contact is one way that these animals can get this virus from other animals,” Timmons said.
At Westside Animal Hospital they’re not vaccinating all dogs for the dog flu, only the animals at high risk.
“For animals that are at high risk; those in shelters, those involved in a lot of other pets, it is something that we can give in the attempts to prevent against this new strain of the virus,” Timmons explained.
Once your pet has the virus there is no vaccination and it can last for 30 days.
Timmons says it’s nothing to worry about, but to pay careful attention to your dog and others around.