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Pets

Dog flu detected in Raleigh

Posted July 29, 2015 3:12 p.m. EDT
Updated July 30, 2015 10:42 a.m. EDT

— Veterinarians in Wake County want dog owners to keep their pets from touching others.

A contagious flu virus has surfaced in dogs in the Raleigh area.

Animal health experts believe the H3N2 strain, which has never been seen in the United States before this year, came from Asia.

The flu can spread from dog to dog, and people can transmit the flu by touching an infected dog and then touching a healthy dog.

Dogs sick with the flu have a cough, runny nose and fever and may be lethargic or eat less. In most cases, the flu passes within a few weeks and the dog makes a full recovery. As with the flu in humans, secondary infections can develop and lead to more serious illness or even death.

At least 200 dogs in North Carolina have contracted the virus so far this year, with at least one suspected case here in the Triangle.

Dr. Jennifer Federico, of Wake County Animal Services, said the flu has surfaced in boarding facilities and doggie daycares.

​"Be a little cautious if you're hearing the dog that you're coming up to to greet coughing a lot. You might not want to greet that dog," she said.

There's no specific vaccine, but a regular, seasonal vaccine can provide some protection.