Cook County urges pet owners to vaccinate dogs to prevent canine flu
The canine flu has emerged once again in Cook County, so the county's Animal and Rabies Control department advises pet owners to vaccinate all dogs to protect their four-legged friends from the disease.
Dr. Donna Alexander, the administrator of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control, said that some animal shelters and veterinarians have reported dogs infected with canine influenza.
No canine deaths have been reported this year, fortunately, nor last year when dozens of dogs suffered from the virus. In 2015, a more severe outbreak of canine flu killed at least 11 dogs.
“The most important precaution dog owners can take is to get their pet vaccinated against core diseases, including canine influenza,” Alexander said. “Visit your veterinarian at least twice each year for health checkups (for your pet). Animals that are most susceptible to the viruses are those that are immunocompromised by age or other illness.”
Symptoms of canine flu are similar to the flu in humans. Dogs may be more tired than usual or show signs of a fever and loss of appetite. They may also cough, sneeze and develop nasal discharge that starts out clear but eventually turns to a thick yellow mucus.