Dog flu: How to protect your pets

CHICAGO -- June is Dog Flu Awareness Month, and a recent uptick in cases in the United States has veterinarians concerned.

Canine influenza A H3N2 virus, or dog flu, was first identified in the U.S. in 2015.

An outbreak of the highly contagious canine influenza virus H3N2 has recently hit New York, according to Dr. David Gonsky, Founder and Medical Director of West Loop Veterinary Care.

Dr. Gonsky said it's a good idea to get your dog vaccinated as soon as possible. He adds that once dog flu hits your state, it's usually too late.

In particular, he recommends vaccinating "social" dogs - those that spend time in places like kennels, dog parks and boarding centers - that are most at risk for catching the flu.

Symptoms of the dog flu to look for in your pet include a persistent cough, runny nose, a high fever, lethargic, reduced or no appetite and discharge from the eyes.

If you notice any of the signs of flu in your dog, call your veterinarian and stay away from other dogs and cats. Yes, cats can be infected by dog flu, too!
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