Canine Influenza affects Nevada dogs

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- This flu season is the worst in nearly a decade, but it's not just humans dealing with the flu. So are dogs.

It has been a busy week for Klaich Animal Hospital, the staff treating something incredibly rare for Nevada dogs.

"We started getting calls from boarding facilities," said Dr. Rick Furman, Klaich Animal Hospital.

Dr. Furman says those calls were complaints about numerous dogs coughing; they described it as worse than kennel cough. Furman says tests on the dogs came back positive for canine influenza.

There have been three cases confirmed by veterinarians at Klaich Animal Hospital. Animal Emergency Center has seen two confirmed cases.

The canine influenza is highly contagious among dogs and that is why Fantasia Pet Resort has changed its policy. Now dogs have to have an influenza shot before coming in.

"It's something that we want to take precaution with and make sure that all of our guests are happy and healthy and that they all have a good experience when they come to us," said Cody Koch, owner of Fantasia Pet Resort.

To protect your dog, Dr. Furman recommends dog owners avoid taking their four-legged friends to public places until things start to get better. If you can't, get your dog vaccinated.

"We will give it to anyone that wants to protect their dog, but we are really emphasizing it for the dogs that have regular contact with a lot of other dogs," said Dr. Furman.