Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Watch out for dog flu in Chicago

Anyone who has had the flu knows it's a pesky disease. When it makes the news it's normally about people, but this time the virus is the canine version, and Cook County are in the midst of a large outbreak.

Over a thousand cases of the dog flu have been reported, and there are probably more dogs that just haven't gotten to a vet. At least five dogs have died.

Symptoms of the dog flu include coughing, fever, lack of appetite, runny nose, and depression. The disease can't be transmitted to humans, but a human can carry it between dogs, so pay extra attention to hygiene.

Pet owners in the area are recommended to avoid dog parks, doggy day care businesses, and similar places where there are groups of dogs. Some places have even closed in an attempt to contain the outbreak.

A dog can carry the virus even if he or she doesn't show symptoms. There is a vaccine available, but it takes up to two weeks for it to protect the dog. Consult with your veterinarian!

If you live in the area and plan to travel with your dog, take precautions so you don't spread the disease.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

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