CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some doggy daycares are temporarily closing their doors due to a highly contagious respiratory virus.
The canine influenza virus is similar to the human version of the flu and is quickly spreading amongst dogs across the area. Dog owners like Jasmine Lecato say it's very uncomfortable to see.
"He started coughing but this was not a kennel cough he was like choking and throwing up foam," Lecato said.
Lecato says her pup Ellis is normally chipper and full of life, but after she noticed less energy and bad coughing she took a visit to the vet.
"I called the vet and they were booked for days because they said something has been going around," Lecato said.
Over a dozen local vets say they’ve been slammed after an uptick of a highly contagious respiratory virus in dogs.
Some facilities like Long Animal Hospital sent out emails saying the illness is known as the canine influenza virus (CIV) and has already infected thousands in our area.
They say the virus spreads through the air, and many doggy daycare centers like Noda Bark and Board say they're temporarily closing their doors.
"We originally thought we were going to close in two days, now we are going to close for a week," said Kim Lovingood-Owens, with Noda Bark and boarding. "This is something different and is rapidly changing."
Lovingood-Owens says they've been putting up signs and making calls to cancel booked appointments.
"I called 30 different people and said please don’t board your dog here," said Lovingood-Owens.
"As a business owner that is not something I want to do but I can't in good conscience let you bring your dog to get sick."
Vets say some of the common signs of CIV includes sneezing, hacking, and reverse sneezing.
They say some cases are mild while others can lead to pneumonia, they're encouraging anyone who has a dog that's showing symptoms to get them checked out as soon as possible.
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