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Dog flu sweeps Central Texas

H3N2 is highly contagious

WACO, Texas - Listen up, dog lovers.
 
Right now, a highly contagious dog flu is sweeping through Central Texas.
 
Dog flu has always been around.
 
"We have had a couple of cases in the past two weeks," says Texas Animal Medical Center owner Dr. LuAnn Ervin.
 
But now there's a new virus circulating.
 
"H3N2 Flu is what they call the new strain of flu that we have had in the past couple of years. They are working on a vaccine for it," Ervin said.
 
The symptoms are almost the same as what we experience during flu season. 
 
"You are going to see sneezing, you are going to see coughing, you'll have some malaise - where they seem to be achy all over - they run fevers, and generally they don't want to eat because of the congestion," Ervin said.
 
If your dog is doing all of this, it's time to visit the vet.
 

 
"They need a good physical exam, they need to get a CBC run, you generally have a high white blood cell count with the flu," Ervin said.
 
Ervin says the flu is highly contagious, and dogs are more likely to get it when they are around other dogs.
 
"If they go to dog parks that is going to be more prevalent than they go to....of course dogs in rescues and shelters certainly going to be a hot bed for the flu," Ervin said.
 
Preventing the flu is easy. Make sure your dog is vaccinated. 
 
"It is as simple as a two-shot series. The vaccine is not very expensive for the dogs, but it certainly gives you a good amount of protection," Ervin said.
 
Dog flu cases are rarely fatal, but they can make your best friend miserable.
 
You can get your furry friend vaccinated at your local vet clinic. The cost is normally $20-$30.

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