Getting to the Heart, Lungs of Pet Care

Mansfield vet warns of canine flu

By Bruce Felps
|  Wednesday, Aug 10, 2011  |  Updated 4:52 PM CDT
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Getting to the Heart, Lungs of Pet Care

WilleeCole, Shutterstock

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Commentary
by Bruce Felps

Almost every year medical experts issue warnings about potentially fatal strains of influenza.

Recently, we’ve survived avian flu and swine flu — sorry pigs, H1N1 — and now Dr. Lindsay Beckendorf, a veterinarian who practices at Country Club Pet Hospital in Mansfield, warns of canine influenza.

Unlike the other two mentioned varieties, canine flu poses a serious respiratory threat to dogs not people. How serious? Let her explain.

“We recently had a very sick dog in the hospital — who has since recovered, thank goodness — with canine flu,” Beckendorf wrote in an e-mail message. “Her owner spent over $1,000 for [the dog’s] three-day stay in the hospital, and she nearly died.”

Apparently, the disease is quite contagious, but Beckendorf wrote that a $30 vaccine could save a thousand dollars’ worth of heartache, so word.

Speaking of hearts, summer brings mosquito season, mosquitoes carry heartworm larvae, and heatworms kill dogs and cats. Yes, cats, too.

A veterinary clinic in East Dallas, East Lake Animal Hospital, recently alerted people on its its e-mail distribution list that immiticide, the drug used to treat cases of heartworms, is in seriously short supply, if available at all, so preventives — not preventatives — become all the more imperative. Indoors pets of the mammal variety also are at risk so don’t skimp.

Ever had a mosquito bite you while you were in the house?


Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. His cat contracted fleas during May, and Bogart does no go outside. Hmmm …

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