Pets

El Paso in a 'bubble' when it comes to dog flu sweeping the nation

Dog flu sweeping the nation

EL PASO, Texas - The dog flu is sweeping the nation, and many pet owners are understandably concerned. 

Local veterinarian Nancy Harvey says while many areas like the Midwest are seeing a lot of the dog flu, El Paso seems to be in a "bubble."  She says  to her knowledge, there haven't been any cases here.

The symptoms to look out for are sneezing fever, coughing and lethargy.  Dogs spread it to each other through barking and sneezing.   Dogs most at risk are those who spend a lot of time with other large groups of dogs, for example at a dog park.  If you are going to be traveling, your dog could have a greater chance of contracting the flu, since it's more prevalent in other parts of the country.

Dr. Harvey says there is a vaccination for the H3N2 virus, and most local vets have it on hand.  The dog flu is not the same kind of flu humans get, and it's not transferrable between dog and human.

Bottom line: it's up to individual pet owners whether or not to vaccinate their dogs.  Dr. Harvey says she has not vaccinated her dogs, but one local kennel owner is requiring dog flu vaccination for those boarded at her facility.  "I want to be proactive.  It's it's not here yet but it will be," she tells ABC 7.  Our crew called several other area boarders - no one else we spoke with is requiring the flu vaccination at this time.  

If your dog is showing any of the signs mentioned above and you're not sure if it's the flu, Dr. Harvey says go to your vet and play it safe.  As always, if you think your dog is sick, keep it away from other pets. 

 As for all the cat people out here - rest easy.  There is no cat flu.