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Dog Flu Risk Highest Where Canines Mingle

Nowadays, even Fido fears the flu.

Boarding kennels and shelters in at least eight states -- New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Colorado, Georgia and Florida -- saw outbreaks of canine influenza virus last year. The highly contagious respiratory infection targets dogs of any breed and age in any season, killing up to 2 percent of its victims.

"With any respiratory infection in dogs, you do have the potential for it to morph into a secondary bacterial pneumonia, which then might -- if untreated aggressively -- result in the death of some animals," says Edward Dubovi, a professor of virology at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, N.Y.

But with proper medical care, dogs usually recover in two weeks without further health complications, says canine influenza virus expert Dr. Cynda Crawford, a veterinarian at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville.
 
 

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