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Veterinarians Seeing An Increase In A Flu-Like Virus Affecting Vaccinated Dogs

By: Cleve Bryan

Swedesboro, N.J. (CBS) -- Veterinarian Karyn Collier, who works at the Saint Francis Veterinary Center, is trying to get to the bottom of a disturbing trend; dogs vaccinated against the flu are suffering from a flu-like virus.

After seeing numerous cases, she wonders, "Why are these vaccinated, well-cared for dogs still coming down with this illness?"

Dr. Collier says the first case she saw was back in May, and since then Saint Francis Veterinary Center has seen about 75 dogs with the same problem.

"There were cases that we were seeing them here, we were seeing them from the dog park and other boarding facilities around the area, and just more and more cases."

Dr. Collier says the problem is not kennel cough or the much more serious virus canine-fluenza, it is some kind of para-influenza making the animals feel, well, as sick as a dog.

Dr. Collier adds, "the sheer number of cases has us suspicious that it has to be something a little different."

The Saint Francis Veterinary Center is collecting samples and sending them to a vaccination company to try and figure out what exactly the problem is.

In the meantime, dog owners who use kennels, day cares, take their dogs to the dog park or groomers should make sure all of their dog's vaccinations are up to date, and make sure to keep an eye out for any changes in behavior.

Symptoms to look out for are: coughing, nasal discharge and decreases in appetite.

If your dog is suffering from any of the symptoms, like coughing or respiratory distress, make sure you take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible so they can get the proper treatment.

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