(KWES) - Dog flu cases are three times higher than past years across the state of Texas, it's highly contagious and potentially dangerous. Veterinarians in the Permian Basin said we haven't seen any cases yet but it could hit us soon.
If your furry best friend is coughing, sneezing, has a runny nose or boogery eyes it might be time to get them tested for the dog flu.
"If you don't treat it, you'll see it progressively getting worse," said Sierra Ancira, Practice Manager at Animal Emergency Hospital Permian Basin. "The difference between it and some other upper respiratory infections is that it doesn't go away or other upper respiratory infections turn into other problems like neurological effects and stuff like that."
There aren't any confirmed cases in the Permian Basin but Ancira said that could be because pet owners don't commonly get their dogs tested and brushed the symptoms off as a different type of infection.
"Even if your pet is vaccinated, they can still get the clinical signs," said Ancira. "It's just like us getting the flu shot, it lessens your clinical signs but it doesn't prevent it completely."
There isn't a clear answer why we're seeing the increases in dog flu. If your pet has been around other animals in a small area and starts showing symptoms, get them tested before it turns into something more serious.
"It is scary. You do see the extreme cases where they can develop bacterial infections like secondary pneumonia. There's just a lot of secondary things they need to look for," said Ancira. "As far as the virus itself, it's not deadly but these secondary infections are what you have to worry about."
There are two types of vaccines against the dog flu, talk to your vet to find which one is best for your pet.