Growing concern about canine respiratory virus in Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - There's some growing concern in the Morgantown area about what appears to be an increase in a respiratory virus among dogs.

The owner of a dog day care center told 5 News they've seen the issue, and actually closed down their facility for a day last week.

"We first started noticing it in our day care setting on the Mileground and we completely shut down there, just to keep dogs away, to keep them home, make them stay home," said Riki Hall, the owner of Pampered 4 Paws.

Hall says it took a lot of bleach to get the facilities cleaned, but it's a situation where not much could be done.

"We've washed walls, we've washed all our towels, blankets, bedding, everything," Hall said.

Katie Short owns a six month old boxer. It didn't take long for her to know that something wasn't right.

"She's lost her appetite," Short said. "She's not her normal spunky self. Any boxer owners know that a boxer on the couch all day is not necessarily normal. A lot of sleepless nights and a lot of coughing."

She, along with Hall, want people to know that it's situations like these, where it's best to keep your pets home.

"It's not something that we can really get a handle on," Short said. "It's just like sending your kid to school. You're going to have days they come home not feeling well and then they're going to have days where they come home really not feeling well. It's something that could have easily been passed on first as an allergy, but it's definitely progressed into something more."

"Chances are somebody thought it was just an allergy, showed up at another place, got their dog sick, and it just cycled through, just like a kid at school," Hall said.