from USA Today
Protect your dogs from deadly canine flu
Shelter officials and dog experts concerned about the spread of canine flu are warning pet owners to be careful about taking their dogs to doggie day care centers, boarding facilities and dog parks.
A shelter in Fairfax County, Va., is the last place hit by canine flu, killing one dog and sickening more than two dozen others, forcing officials to close the center for two weeks and suspending adoptions. Experts say H3N8 is also affecting dogs in four other states.
While the flu has been contained at the Virginia shelter, it will remain closed for two weeks and officials say they suspect the flu is also present in the community.
Canine influenza was first identified in U.S. dogs in 2004 after an outbreak of respiratory disease in racing Greyhounds in Florida. Since then, it has continued to spread and has been detected in dogs in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
The flu can not spread to humans. Pet owners can check with veterinarians about the availability of a vaccine developed in June. Symptoms of the flu include cough, runny nose, and a fever.
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