Outbreak of dog flu hits Chicago area

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How To Protect Your Dog From The Flu

CHICAGO - An outbreak of dog flu has pet owners in the Chicago area concerned.

Dog parks are posting warnings and some doggie daycares are closing for scrub downs.

Canine influenza is nothing new but there is a big outbreak in Cook County this year with more than a thousand reported cases and five deaths.

Donna Alexande of the Cook County Animal and Rabies Control says a lack of appetite is a sign. "The animal may be running a fever or doesn't want to drink water may become dehydrated," she said.

Dogs may also develop a cough.

The dog flu spreads much like this human flu, through saliva. With dogs, it's the nose to nose contact vets are worried about.

Puppies and older dogs over seven are most at risk.

It cannot spread to cats or other animals or humans, but people can spread it between dogs if you get their saliva on your hands and then touch another dog.

There is a vaccine available. Contact your vet for information. Like humans, it can take a week or two until your dog is protected.

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