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Some North Texas vets say they are seeing an increase in kennel cough in dogs

Vets concerned about rising levels of 'kennel cough' in dogs
Vets concerned about rising levels of 'kennel cough' in dogs 01:48

DALLAS ( -  If you're a pet owner, you may want to keep a close eye on your furry friends. Some veterinarians in North Texas say they are seeing an increase in upper respiratory infections like bordatella, or kennel cough, among dogs.  

"Everybody wants to come to Dallas, and everybody moves to Dallas, and they bring their dogs," said Dr. Ashley Priddy of Dallas Veterinary Clinic. "And obviously those dogs can bring in pathogens and when they go boarding they'll spread the pathogens too. 

He said dogs can also infect each other at groomers, dog parks, or any group location. 

Dr. Priddy says to look for symptoms including coughing, fever, nasal discharge, lethargy, and lack of appetite - and then take them to your vet.

"It's kind of like us where there's a PCR test," Dr. Priddy said. "Unfortunately, there's not a rapid PCR test for dogs to figure out what they're sick with. So we do send off swabs to the lab." 

Dr. Priddy says they've also seen an increase in canine influenza and just like with the flu for us, it can live on surfaces, clothing, and hands. So if an infected dog sneezes on the sidewalk and other dogs sniff it, they can potentially become infected. 

He says saying keeping your dog up-to-date on vaccinations, including the flu shot, is your best defense. 

And don't wait until just before you leave town.

"The best way to do it would be to actually get their boosters a few weeks before they go to the boarding kennel or before they go to grooming," Dr. Priddy said. "That allows their body the chance for the immunity to build up so then when they get exposed to that pathogen, they hopefully won't get sick." 

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