Chattanooga vets warn of highly contagious canine flu | Local News
We’ve been reading the warnings for weeks now – pet diseases are rampant in Chattanooga. Vets are seeing an increase in canine flu here in scenic town, which is different from kennel cough.
Mary Ann Settles said her three-year-old dog, Kallie, is usually with her and only goes to dog daycare a few times a week. So she never expected her dog to get sick. That was until one morning Kallie woke up coughing.
“So all of a sudden she was blowing out a lot of air, like powerful air, and then she was going out like she was clearing her throat like she had a hairball,” Settles said.
Kallie’s cough didn’t stop, so Settles took her to the vet where she was diagnosed with canine flu.
“She said it was spreading like wildfire. She just walked out and looked at Kallie and saw her and it’s really evident in the area of her nose. Her nose was running and it was completely wet.”
Dr Jim Hammon, a veterinarian at Northgate Animal Hospital, said there had been an increase in canine flu cases. He said it was important for pet parents to watch out for symptoms like cough, fever and lethargy, which can last up to three weeks.
“Sneezing, coughing, or even barking can aerosolize this virus and it’s very, very contagious,” Dr. Hammon explained.
He said he can live on surfaces for 48 hours, on clothes for 24 hours, and without proper hygiene, on your hands for 12 hours.
Local animal hospitals are asking pet owners to stop going to dog parks, groomers and boarding houses to keep their pets healthy.
While kennel cough and canine flu have similar symptoms, Dr. Hammon said they are not the same. If your dog gets the canine flu, he is not immune to kennel cough and vice versa. He said vaccination and isolation are your best bets.
Settles is warning others so their pet doesn’t have to go through what their dog is going through.
“Just keep your dogs at home. I know it’s hard because we love them because we want them to go out and play and socialize and be happy and healthy, but it’s an epidemic and that’s okay. get worse if we don’t keep our dogs at home.”