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Dog In Travis County Tests Positive For Canine Flu

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez
A nose pokes out from under a fence in West Austin.

A dog in Travis County has tested positive for canine flu. The case here is one of five cases statewide being monitored by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. The other cases are in Harris County and Hood County.

Dr. Cheryl Maguire, who works at the A&M lab, tells KUT’s Nathan Bernier that almost all dogs exposed to the virus will become infected, but only 80 percent develop clinical signs. The signs are similar to symptoms of the human flu.

“For most dogs, they’re going to recover and do fine after a few weeks of feeling pretty bad,” Maguire said. She added that some cases do require hospitalization, and in still others, the dog dies.

Canine flu is spread through exposure to other dogs. Animals that visit boarding facilities, dog parks and grooming salons have a greater risk for being exposed to the virus.

“Regarding their pet’s lifestyle and their risk as far as what they do with their dog and places they take it, that sort of thing, their risk would be higher if they are at places like dog parks or dog shows,” Maguire said.

She recommends that people who are concerned about their dog’s health consult with their pet’s veterinarian.

There have been no reports of dog flu being spread to humans.