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Outbreak of Canine Influenza Creates Problems for Dogs

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WICHITA FALLS, Texas, Oct. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In response to the growing number of cases of canine influenza throughout the Southeastern United States, Dr. James Spears, of Callfield Companion Animal Clinic, is advising dog owners to take precautions such as diligence in disinfecting dog shelters or boarding facilities and practicing good hand washing habits, especially after touching other infected dogs or even infected cats.

Word of the outbreak gained national attention when the AKC veterinarian, Dr. Jerry Klein, announced the news on his Facebook page to warn dog owners who had taken their dogs to the shows in Georgia and Florida within a seven to ten day period of time. The AKC has warned dog owners to be careful of the environment they place their dogs in. They should avoid kennels, grooming or boarding facilities, and dog parks where the virus may be present.

Over twelve cases of canine influenza have been reported by the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, with one case resulting in death. The canine influenza A virus and the H3N2 strain of the virus have been detected in dog shows from Georgia to Florida. Cases have also been reported in Central Texas demonstrating the virus' ability spread very quickly. Due to the rapid spread of the virus, Dr. Spears is trying to educate pet owners on both the virus and how to avoid it.

Dr. Spears recommends quarantining any dog that shows these symptoms: nasal discharge, coughing, a reduced appetite, and fever in the more extreme cases. Finally, Dr. Spears suggests having dogs vaccinated at their local veterinary office to help avoid catching the virus while around infected dogs. He is urging all of his current clients and any owners that are not up-to-date on with their dog's vaccinations to bring their pets into his office.

"It is important to contain the outbreak to avoid further illness or even death in severe cases," said Dr. James Spears, head veterinarian at Callfield Companion Animal Clinic. "Pet owners should contact their nearest clinic to schedule an appointment for vaccinations and exams to ensure their pets remain healthy and active while these strains of the virus are circulating."

Callfield Companion Animal Clinic is a full-service, multi-pet veterinarian's office in Wichita Falls that provides services for vaccinations as well as dental care, parasite control, exams, diet and nutrition services, and emergency care. Dr. James Spears operates the clinic with his wife, Dr. Elisa Spears. It is located on 4304 Callfield Road in Wichita Falls, Texas, 76308. Those interested in setting an appointment may call (940) 692-7000 or visit the website for additional information on services or location.

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