UNIVERSAL CITY, Texas - A massive outbreak of dog flu has forced the Universal City Dog Park to shut down. The city has been working for about a month to get it under control.
Area veterinarians have seen an increase in dog flu and kennel cough cases, about 50 of them, some even in dogs that had been vaccinated. To avoid the spread, the city has closed the park temporarily.
"The maintenance aspect is primarily happening at home with the dogs and keeping their dogs isolated until it passes, because it stays in their system for 7-10 days," Universal City assistant manager Kim Turner said.
The next closest dog park is 24 miles away at Phil Hardberger Park. Neighbors are taking their frustration out on social media as they anxiously wait for Universal's reopening.
While it's still closed, the park is being pressure-washed and sanitized with pet friendly products. Since dog flu mirrors the common cold in humans, it's easily spread through coughing, sneezing, barking and direct contact with food and water bowls.
"You can get the influenza shot, and it doesn't necessarily mean that you wont get it," Turner said. "It just means that you should recover from it faster. So vaccinated or non-vaccinated, the dogs can get it."
Universal City Animal Care and Control said it has not seen any new cases of dog flu in the last week. If that continues throughout the end of this week, they plan to re-open the park on Monday, July 24.