When Shelby Guthrie woke up on Saturday morning, the house was strangely silent. Normally, Sadie, her rambunctious eleven-month-old Golden Retriever is already up playing, ready for breakfast, and thinking about a walk. After Guthrie turned on the coffee pot, she began looking for her little ray of sunshine, but Sadie was nowhere to be found.
“I almost tripped over her in the bathroom. She was laying on the bathmat and her breathing was strange,” said Guthrie. “I immediately knew that something was seriously wrong with my dog.”
The mortgage loan officer immediately called her boyfriend, Tim Shannon, a game warden with the Texas Department of Wildlife, and asked him to come over quickly.
“I just live two streets over and so I was there pretty fast,” he said. “I loaded Shelby and Sadie into my truck and we rushed over to the Triton Fort Worth Animal Hospital.”
When the couple arrived, the staff took one look at Sadie and rushed her back into the examination room. Dr. Melissa Harrison was on call that morning and she didn’t need a blood test to ascertain what was wrong with the little Golden Retriever.
“We’ve actually been seeing a lot of this as of late,” said Dr. Harrison. “Since this particular strain of the dog flu virus, type H3N2, is relatively new, most dogs have not had a chance to develop immunity towards it. This makes canines in the metroplex more susceptible to contracting the illness.”
Unfortunately, treatment is not always successful. In young, old, and immunosuppressed dogs, the disease can be fatal.
“Sadie, God bless her little heart, never recovered,” said Tim Shannon. “We’re still pretty torn up about it. They did everything they could, but her fever was so high that it damaged her internal organs. It happened just that fast.”
Dr. Harrison and the rest of the staff at the Triton Fort Worth Animal Hospital want to make sure everyone is informed about the deadly disease that is spreading “faster than [their] ability to educate about it.”
“There are some really important things that everyone needs to know,” said Dr. Harrison.