WARNING: DOG INFLUENZA OUTBREAK
A rare and highly contagious canine flu outbreak has struck the Chicago area. It has been reported that 1000 dogs have tested positive and 5 have been reported dead. Only 20% of Chicago's dogs have been tested and of those dogs, 90% of them have tested positive for the canine flu. The test for canine influenza is relatively expensive. The Lincoln Park area has reported as many as 20 cases per day. Two cases have also been reported in Laporte.
The Indiana State Board of Animal Health says the virus hasn't spread to Indiana, but owners that travel with their pets to infected areas should consider getting their pet vaccinated. Dog parks, kennels, vet clinics, and dog daycares in Chicago are high risk areas.
The virus doesn't affect humans. Healthy dogs that become ill will likely recover, however old and young pets are at greater risk if exposed. Severe cases could result in pneumonia or death. Symptoms are much like those associated with human symptoms. Fever, coughing, nasal discharge, and lack of energy are all symptoms that characterize the dog flu. It is highly transmittable through sneezing, coughing, nose-to-nose contact, and infected surfaces. Symptoms may last for two weeks.
If you suspect your pet is infected, call your vet immediately and avoid taking your pet to areas where numerous dogs congregate.