How to protect your dog from canine influenza

How to protect your dog from canine influenza
(Source: Pima Animal Care Center)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Veterinarians are warning dog owners to be careful when they take their pet to the dog park or to get groomed or boarded.

Canine influenza, or dog flu, is spreading throughout the country. According to reports, it is in 46 states.

Dr. Sarah Carotenuto, a veterinarian with VCA Valley Animal Hospital and Emergency Center, said flu is spread through interactions with other dogs.

She said, like the human flu, it takes a few days to see the symptoms once they are exposed. If a dog catches it, they will feel tired, will cough and even have a runny nose.

She added, if left untreated, it could lead to pneumonia and in very rare cases death.

Dr. Carotenuto said she has treated a dog with influenza.

"It was a dog that was in a boarding situation," she said. "But once a boarding facility identifies a case of canine influenza they will typically close the facility for a number of days to do a thorough cleaning to make sure the virus is inactivated before they let pets back in."

Dr. Carotenuto said there is a vaccine for canine influenza, and it is effective.

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