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New strain of dog flu hits Louisiana - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

New strain of dog flu hits Louisiana

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New strain of dog flu hits Louisiana New strain of dog flu hits Louisiana
LAFAYETTE, La. -

There's a new threat to "man's best friend." A new strain of dog flu is making the rounds across the nation, including in the state.

So far,there are confirmed cases of the dog flu in Louisiana. One veterinary clinic is taking action and believes some dogs here in Acadiana may have been exposed to the virus. 

A new strain of the flu, called H3N2, is popping up across the U.S. According to Dr. Garrott Van Bebber of the Lafayette Veterinary Care Center, three dogs in Monroe already have contracted the virus.

"This is one that is not commonly vaccinated for," Van Bebber said. "That's the reason why we're seeing the outbreak, because we have animals that haven't been vaccinated for it."  

The dog flu is highly contagious and is spread through direct contact with an infected dog.

"It's really going to act like most other upper respiratory type infections," Van Bebber said. "Symptoms include runny nose, hacking cough and excessive salvation at times; those are the most common symptoms. [The dog flu] will last between 10 and 21 days."  

High risk areas are boarding facilities, animals shelters and anywhere large groups of dogs are close to each other. Veterinarians recommend that dogs get two shots to protect them from the virus.

Dogs will receive one vaccine shot, then two weeks later, get a booster shot.

"We don't know the ripple effect that this is going to have at this time," Van Bebber said. "That makes it more dangerous and nerve-wracking because we don't know the effect it will have on our area, state and country." 

The Lafayette Veterinary Care Center and the Reaux Animal Hospital in New Iberia will host vaccination clinics for dogs. 

The clinics will be held on June 10 and 24 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The cost is $30 for the shots. 

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