Canine Influenza ("dog flu") has been in the news again following several outbreaks in various parts of the country with a growing number located in the southeast.
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Authorities advise dog owners whose pets exhibit signs of flu to take them to the vet immediately.
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Officials in Georgia have confirmed several cases of extremely unsafe canine flu.
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This year's flu can make a dog feel sick for two weeks, but the pet can remain contagious for much longer. It is typically not fatal in dogs and most can recover without complications at home, but it can progress to pneumonia if left untreated. Symptoms such as lethargy, nasal discharge, high fever, and loss of appetite are common in 80 percent of dogs, and the disease has killed two dogs in North Carolina. You're just advised to be aware of the signs of sickness.
The disease is usually deadlier in puppies and very old dogs, and as far as pet owners go, Dr. Travis Davison of the Bluffton Veterinary Hospital believes that spotting canine influenza is similar to spotting the flu in human sufferers.
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According to KTHV, there have been two cases of dog flu reported in Louisiana, and additional outbreaks recently reported in Texas and Tennessee.
"You've got a lot of dogs, small area, a lot of dogs from different places", she said.
If an infected dog coughs or sneezes on a human being, the infection can survive on the human skin for two minutes, whereas it can survive for well over a day on clothing, from where it can infect a healthy dog.
Officials are warning about the dog flu after five confirmed cases in Georgia. Dogs most at risk are those in shelters or rescue groups, housed in communal facilities, or participate in group events. The University of Rochester Medical Center published a statement detailing a new vaccine for dogs against canine influenza.
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