Veterinarians are cautioning pet owners to be wary of a potentially deadly strain of canine flu that has made its way from the West Coast to the region.
The H3N2 virus that sickened hundreds of dogs earlier this year on the West Coast has made its way east. Since the first report, more than three dozen cases of dog flu have been reported in the New York City area.
Officials said that if the disease is not treated appropriately, the strain of influenza can be fatal.
Signs of a dog who has the flu include lethargy, an animal losing its appetite or even coughing. The sooner a dog is treated, the better chance it has to be rescued, according to veterinarians. Symptoms can take several days to manifest.
Humans cannot get sick from the dog flu, but can spread it, as it can live on skin for up to a day. It can also be spread from dog to dog through the use of shared bowls of water or at kennels or doggy daycares.
A vaccine has been made available for dog owners in an effort to avoid the influenza strain, which may cost upwards of $100 according to reports, depending on the veterinarian.
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