This recent report of a dog testing positive for the Canine Influenza Virus in our area is not meant to be a scare tactic. This virus has most likely been in our area, but has only recently been detected. 
We, as veterinarians, are presented with numerous cases of animals with respiratory symptoms.   We do not always suspect the worst case scenario. Veterinarians see a wide array of causes from the seasonal allergies to the more severe bacterial, viral, or parasitic causes. Most of the time, mild cases are treated symptomatically. In the event that symptoms do not improve, or if the patient presents with severe symptoms, further testing and treatment will be required.
On the other hand, when there are reports of respiratory disease in multiple animals being in close proximity to other animals, we do suspect contagious diseases. In those instances we recommend further testing immediately.
Our goal, as a profession, is to prevent illness and disease. We are here to educate and assist pet owners in keeping their beloved pets healthy, and to diagnose and treat them when they are ill or injured. 
Please be a smart and informed pet owner. Have your pet examined by a veterinarian at least annually (every 6 months is recommended). Have your pet current on immunizations that your veterinarian recommends. Remember that Rabies immunization is required by law. Make sure that your pet is on a monthly flea, intestinal parasite, and heartworm preventative year-round. 
We would like to inform you that Big Ridge Veterinary Hospital is a full service companion animal hospital. It is our commitment to provide quality veterinary care throughout the life of your pet. Our services and facilities are designed to assist in routine preventative care for young, healthy pets; early detection and treatment of disease as your pet ages; and complete medical and surgical care as necessary during his or her lifetime. You may contact us at (228) 872-2088 for more information and for all of your pet health care needs. 
Thank you for taking the time to read this notice and about our veterinary practice,
Lisa Wilkerson, DVM