Strait had taken seven of her Calabrone Australian Shepherds to the Australian Shepherd National Specialty in St. Louis, MO; when she got home, she noticed that her dogs were very sick.
“At the time we thought it was a simple case of canine kennel cough,” Strait said, “but within a few days all of my dogs were fighting for their lives.”
All of her dogs were showing the classic signs of this dangerous influenza such as coughing, sneezing, lethargy, decreased appetite and difficulty breathing. The virus had spread from one dog to another very quickly.
“Sitting alone with a dog gasping for breath in the middle of the night was horrific and something I would not wish on anyone,” Strait said. “I told (the dogs) they owe me nothing. Just please, please keep breathing…Just breathe… I was one of the lucky ones – mine survived.”
It took weeks of treatment, but all of her dogs survived. Sadly, six of her seven dogs can no longer compete in shows. One dog has permanent throat issues and another now has a permanent lung disease.
Continue to the next page for a veterinarian’s advice on what to do if you suspect your dog has the flu.