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Latest Concern For Dog Owners: Canine Influenza

(CBS) -- It's reaching epidemic proportions.

That's what area veterinarians are saying about an illness striking hundreds of dogs.

CBS 2's Dana Kozlov reports dog influenza can be deadly.

Veterinarian Natalie Marks of Blum Animal Hospital says in just the last week, more than 70 dogs have been diagnosed with canine influenza, a much more serious illness than kennel cough.

And it's not just a Chicago outbreak.

"It's everywhere," Marks says. "It's all over the Chicagoland area. ... There have been a few fatalities."

Lulu is one puppy now in isolation because of influenza. Her owner says the pup fell ill days after going to a South Loop doggie daycare for the first time.

Veterinarians say pneumonia often develops in dogs that have influenza, sometimes with little warning. Like kennel cough, it's highly contagious and can be transmitted for a week after symptoms subside.

Veterinarians recommend keeping dogs out of daycares, boarding facilities and dog parks until the outbreak subsides. A canine flu vaccine is available.


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