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By Kirsten Cianci, VMD
Published: December 01, 2009

As you may have seen on the news or read in the newspaper, there is an emerging threat to our dogs from a virus called canine influenza. While this virus has been around for a few years, it has only recently been identified in our area. This respiratory virus is highly contagious and can be spread not only by contact with infected dogs, but also by contact with contaminated objects or by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. Dogs at highest risk are those that are around other dogs, including boarding, grooming, day care, dog parks, dog shows, or training centers.

About 80% of dogs that are exposed to canine flu virus will become infected. Common signs include runny nose, coughing, and fever. A small proportion of dogs will develop pneumonia and can become critically ill, requiring more intensive treatment.

Fortunately, a new vaccine is available to help reduce the risk of severe illness. Please call to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians to discuss protection for your dog from this potential threat.

For more information on Canine Influenza, please visit http://www.avma.org/public_health/influenza/canine_bgnd.asp

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