Henry temporary closes dog parks to stave off dog flu

As the number of dog flu cases continues to climb in nearby counties, Henry County and two of its cities have temporarily closed three dog parks as a precaution.

There have been no reported cases of the Canine Influenza Virus in Henry, but county animal control officials nonetheless have decided to close the Mt. Carmel Bark Park in Hampton, the dog park at Alexander Park in McDonough and the dog park at Clark Park in Stockbridge for 30 days. If no cases of canine influenza are reporterd, the parks will then reopen. Signs announcing the closings are expected to go up at the parks within the next two days.

A veterinarian in Cherokee County told Channel 2 Action News she had had more than 50 suspected dog flu cases in her clinic last week and she was seeing from 15 to 20 cases a day.

Clayton County, which is the process of building a new animal shelter, was set to reopen this past Monday after dealing with a possible dog flu scare last week. The Clayton County Animal Control facility has tested negative for the virus but dogs at the shelter were set to continue receiving a two-week doxycycline regimen until its completed.

The dog flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs andwhat’s troubling about the most recent outbreak is that it is not the same strain as the one seen nationwide, according to the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. Although the disease is contagious, most dogs recover quickly with proper care, such as antibiotics and/ or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to reduce fever, swelling and pain. Dehydrated pets may need fluid.

For more information and recommendations, log onto http://www.gvma.net/canine-influenza.

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