Eight dogs had to be euthanized Wednesday to stop the rapidspread of a contagious airborne virus. The dogs were at the Humane Society ofNortheast Texas in Longview.
On Tuesday, 39 dogs were dropped off at that shelter. The shelter says that, while they have not beenable to identify where the virus originated, it does not take long for it tobecome fatal to dogs.
Only time will tell if any of the other dogs are infected atthe shelter. Officials with the sheltersay the virus presents itself with upper respiratory infection symptoms.
"They have eye discharge, nasal discharge, sneezing,coughing," said Executive Director Scott Holloway. "If they startacting lethargic, you've got a good sign there, too. The vets in the area havetold us that they have been running across this from various and sundrylocations; it's not coming just from the shelter," says the shelter's executive director, Scott Holloway.
Holloway also says dog owners need to pay close attention.
"The adults [dogs] that we saw coughing, sneezing,carrying on, they didn't have a chance," Holloway said. "If peoplewould be more responsible with their dogs, they're not going to have nearlythe problem."
Holloway says a litter of puppies was dropped off lastmonth, and about two weeks later, they started showing signs of the virus thathas been transmitted through the air to other dogs.
"If you're not seeing any sign of it for the firsttwo weeks, what can you do? So, we've done the best we could," Hollowaysaid. "We've isolated the dogs; we were trying to watch them. I had sixof them come down sick yesterday."
Veterinarian Susan Little says that the virus is not always fatal.
"We saw one patient on Monday that was adopted fromthe shelter," Little said. "It was running a fever, didn't feel good.It was at the emergency clinic this weekend, but the dog is doing wellnow."
Dr. Little says only dogs can get this virus and recommends they get current vaccinations. She also says this virus is common and dogowners should pay attention to symptoms and get their dogs treated quickly.
The Humane Society was closed today to clean and sterilize the kennels that were holding the dogs that had the virus. They say they will be back open on Thursday for adoptions.