July 11, 2006

Dangerous Dog Flu is Spreading

According to this article from the Miami Herald, dog flu has been reported in 22 states and is on the rise. All dog owners should be aware of the symptoms, since the disease is not neccessaarily deadly if caught in time.

South Florida veterinarians are on the lookout for a deadly dog virus making its way around the country.

Dog flu -- also known as canine influenza virus -- is a highly contagious respiratory disease that has more than tripled since last year, said Cynda Crawford, an immunologist at the College of Veterinarian Medicine at the University of Florida.

In Miami-Dade County, veterinarians randomly sampled 100 dogs with respiratory distress from October to May.

Ten percent tested positive for canine influenza, said Sara Pizano, director of Miami Dade Animal Services. Eight dogs were put to sleep.

In Broward, several dogs were put to sleep earlier this year at the Broward County Animal Care and Regulation Division, said Tarnell Carroll, spokesperson for the Broward County Animal Care and Regulation Division.

Last week, more than 70 infected dogs were put to sleep in an animal shelter. And the shelter has suspended adoptions until Monday.

''If we have no dogs for the remainder of this week with the clinical signs of canine influenza, we will open on July 17,'' said Dianne Sauve of the Palm Beach Animal Control Center.

In September, seven states reported outbreaks of dog flu. As of this month, 22 states have reported outbreaks, said Crawford, a national expert on dog flu.

Please follow this link to read the full article which includes symptoms and treatments.

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