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Canine Influenza Puts Manhattan Dog Owners On Alert

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Manhattan dog owners are being warned of an outbreak of a potentially dangerous virus.

The owners of doggy day care Fetch Club in Lower Manhattan proactively shut it down for cleaning after a dog at the facility came down with Canine Influenza, CBS 2’s Don Champion reported.

“You have to be very alert,” dog owner Gay Gutman said.

Veterinarians in Manhattan reported an outbreak of the virus in recent weeks.

Frank Bogues said he’s heard reports and is watching his dogs closely.

“I notice everything about them. You notice when they’re not feeling well. Dogs have an emotional quality to them,” he said.

Veterinarians told CBS 2 the outbreak is partly due to the warm weather which leads to dogs being socialized more.

“If there’s dogs coughing, then I would probably keep your dog from that area,” veterinarian Dr. Benjamin Davidson said.

Dr. Davidson says part of the danger with canine influenza is the fact that the virus is airborne. At the mildest, symptoms often resemble the common kennel cough condition.

“They usually start with a cough,” Dr. Davidson said. “They become very lethargic and they stop eating and in some cases, it progresses into pneumonia.”

Usually, symptoms will show up within a week of infection, CBS 2 reported.

“I’d still let them play in the dog run but I’ve been a bit wary about it,” Bogues said.

In general, vets say dogs who frequent day cares and dog parks are at a higher risk of coming down with Canine Influenza.

To protect dogs from the virus, there is a vaccine available that owners can ask their vets about.

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