Owners, Beware Of Dog Flu

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The extremely contagious canine influenza virus, also known as dog flu, is spreading all over Chicago and the Chicago Park District issued a warning, hoping to restrict the use of these areas and slow the spread.

The best thing to do at the time being is to stay out of dog friendly areas and definitely skip day care, grooming and training facilities. Due to the fact that dogs lack a built-in immunity to the dog fly, all dogs exposed to the virus are at risk.

The most common symptoms include coughing, lethargy, lack of appetite and trouble breathing. Some dogs may even develop pneumonia, a condition that can lead to death. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your vet as soon as possible and keep your dog away from other dogs and household pets.

Despite the fact that most dogs recover with supportive care, dog owners need to be aware that this is a serious condition that has a 5-8 percent mortality rate. Also, even dogs who don’t show any signs of illness may carry the infection. The virus can persist on toys, bedding, clothes and other objects for days and people who are exposed to dogs suffering from canine influenza should wash their hands frequently and change their outer clothes to stop the spread of the virus to other dogs.

Dogs who recover from the illness are believed to be protected for two years, but it would be best to vaccinate your dog against canine influence to reduce the severity of the flu. Sadly, this vaccine doesn’t prevent the disease.

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