LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Dog flu cases seen for the first time in Arkansas this summer, now local doggy daycares are changing their requirements on which dogs they allow in their facility.
As pet owners walk through the doors of the Hounds Lounge in North Little Rock, you can see lots of dog’s noses smushed up to the fence of the dog yard.
As dog owners handed off their pets for the day, or to be boarded for vacation during the summer, they do so despite possible risks.
“I would say within a weeks’ time, after the Fourth of July holiday in central Arkansas, we started seeing for the first time the K-9 influenza start to make its way to rear it’s self in an unfortunate way,” owner of Hounds Lounge Pet Resort and Spa, Justin Harris said.
“This is the first time we have seen it on this scale in central Arkansas, we would hear about a couple of cases in northwest Arkansas, but this was different,” veterinarian at Pinnacle Valley Animal Hospital, Sonya Lavergne said.
Sonya Lavergne said some of the symptom’s dogs were experiencing would be lethargy, running nose, and fever.
“It made dogs quite ill, and it was so contagious, it was like every day we had people out there in their cars waiting to have their dogs checked,” Lavergne stated.
Veterinarians like Sonya Lavergne and Hounds Lounge owner Justin Harris, they recommend the flu vaccine.
In 2018, Hounds Lounge required all dogs to have the shot to get ahead of a potential outbreak, but with a supply chain issue due to COVID-19, the vaccine was not available until now.
“Pharmaceutical companies say that by the end of this year, we are all very hopeful that the vaccine will be readily available for everyone that wants it and hopefully by the end of the year hounds lounge will be mandating going forward that every dog that participates on our property has to have it,” Harris said.
Both Justin and Sonya said they will see a lot of change happen in requirements for places handling many dogs.
The number of cases has drastically decreased since this summer, but if you are planning to board your dog, check with their policy to see if it has changed.