Dog Flu making big comeback in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Calm and lethargic is not how Cody the Golden Retriever usually goes about his day. He's had a tough go of it this past week. 

"He stopped eating," said Cody's owner, Angie Schultz. "He didn't want to drink ... We were concerned."

He also had a 104-degree fever and respiratory problems. Schultz knew she had to do something.

"We're trying to figure out, with blood and x-rays, what's going on," she said.

A lot of other pet parents are in the same boat. They've been showing up daily at BluePearl Animal Hospital in east Louisville.

"We've just recently, in the past two or three weeks, had a major resurgence of respiratory cases around the community," said Dr. Scott Rizzo with BluePearl Animal Hospital. "Testing is still pointing to this being canine influenza."

There are more cases in Louisville than anywhere else in the country right now. It's so bad that BluePearl isn't allowing dogs showing symptoms of influenza, or their owners, to walk through the front door. 

"They would not let us in because we're connected to the dog, and we could spread it to another dog," Schultz said.

Instead, a sign directs clients to a quarantine trailer on the side of the building.

The pet hospital isn't alone. 

"We're still seeing major exposures in boarding facilities and doggy day cares across the city," Rizzo said.

PetSmart on Westport Road has been calling customers warning that their animals have been exposed to sickness. 

The Pet Station Country Club on Murphy Lane got hit too. It shut down Wednesday to clean. Doors will remain closed there until Monday.

After getting the vaccine, animal doctors say the best thing you can do to protect your dog is to keep it away from others. Places like dog parks are big no-nos.

"Choose not to go to those places where there's large numbers of dogs that are congregating together," Rizzo said.

Schultz plans to take that advice, because seeing Cody in his current state is rough.

"He's my baby," she said.

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