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Dog flu continues to spread through Metro Atlanta

Dog flu continues to spread through Metro Atlanta
Dog flu continues to spread through Metro Atlanta 01:39

ATLANTA (WUPA) -- Several dogs at local shelters have tested positive for canine flu, or dog flu. LifeLine Animal Project has a number of tips for pet owners to help prevent the spread of the ailment. 

LifeLine says a number of dogs have tested positive for canine influenza at each of its three metro Atlanta locations.

"Less than 10 in each shelter. Here at LifeLine, we've had less than three that have tested positive," said LifeLine Veterinarian Dr. Molly Urban, referencing the Community Animal Center location. "This specific strain does not transmit from dogs to cats."

The current strain of dog flu is called H3N2, which is transferred through droplets in the air from other dogs.

"We, as humans, can also carry what's called fomites. A fomite is just another word for transmitter without actually becoming sick themselves," Urban said. "Pet owners should be pretty serious about influenza, and that's simply because not all dogs are vaccinated for influenza," she said.

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WUPA

The CDC says canine influenza originated in horses and spread to dogs. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, and fatigue.

"It can lead to more serious complications, but usually it's just a simple little viral infection," Urban said, explaining that vaccinated dogs are less likely to have serious symptoms like breathing issues and fever. "Keeping your dog from interacting with other dogs for the next 30 days during this outbreak is going to be your best bet."

LifeLine is looking for foster and adoptive homes to help keep dogs out of their shelters in order to help prevent the spread of dog flu. For more information, you can visit lifelineanimal.org.

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