The city of Longview temporarily closed Gerhart Gardens Dog Park “because of a contagious virus or bacterial disease.” KGW-TV reported that the Parainfluenza Virus has infected dozens of dogs in Cowlitz County.
Parainfluenza Virus is extremely contagious but usually resolves itself on its own.
According to VetInfo.com, it’s commonly mistaken for kennel cough because the symptoms are similar.
The important distinction is that “kennel cough usually produces no additional symptoms, other than the cough.”
A dog with the parainfluenza virus will have these symptoms:
- Dry or hacking cough that may worsen with activity
- Difficulty with breathing, wheezing
- Runny nose
- Runny eyes, eye inflammation or conjunctivitis
- Possible pneumonia with depression, loss of appetite and lethargy
KGW noted that in one Cowlitz County clinic “3-4 dogs were coming in every day” with Parainfluenza Virus. Normally they only see 1 0r 2 cases a month.
Cowlitz County Humane Society told KGW that while the shelter has no cases of Parainfluenza Virus , it has set aside “a quarantine area for animals coming in showing symptoms.”
Parainfluenza Virus is transmitted through the air and can spread quickly in areas that attract large numbers of dogs. If your dog is showing symptoms of the virus, take it to your veterinarian asap and keep it away from other dogs.
If you have questions about the spread of the sickness contact the Humane Society of Cowlitz County at (360)577-0151.