Plano Animal Shelter has temporarily canceled all surrender appointments, adoption and fostering due to a canine influenza outbreak.
The outbreak started on January 17, when one dog was found to have a cough and put into the shelter’s Dog Isolation ward. The next day, three more dogs with similar symptoms started treatment.
“Normal protocols the shelter employs have always stopped mass breakouts and limited it to a few dogs,” a press release said. “In this case, the infection continued to spread despite all preventative measures and now all but four of the 102 dogs currently being housed are ill and being treated.”
Testing determined that the cause of the cough and symptoms was canine influenza. According to the CDC, canine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by specific Type A influenza viruses known to infect dogs. The virus is spread through contact with respiratory droplets, and is most contagious during the incubation period when no symptoms are exhibited. Dogs can still be contagious for up to 20 days post-infection.
All adoption, fostering and other contact with the outside as well as owner surrender appointments have been canceled, and at-large dogs will be picked up only as a last resort.
To prevent the spread of this disease in the community, Plano Animal Services recommends local dog owners contact their veterinarians to discuss getting their dogs vaccinated and to contact their veterinarian if dogs exhibit signs of unusual coughing, lethargy or other signs of upper respiratory illness.