Pet owners beware, there's canine influenza in Minnesota

Four cases have been reported across the state.
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Attention dog owners, four cases of canine influenza have been reported in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health confirmed the infections have been confirmed in dogs over the past week.

Three of the cases have been found in Carver County, in the southwest Twin Cities metro, and another was confirmed in Kandiyohi County in west-central Minnesota.

Alerts have been sent to veterinarians around the state, who in turn have been warning their pet owners.

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Dog owners whose pets show signs of dog flu are asked to contact their veterinarians as soon as possible to discuss appropriate treatment.

The Westgate Pet Center in Minneapolis says canine influenza is a "highly contagious" upper respiratory virus, spread through coughing, sneezing or even barking by dogs.

Dogs can be infected either directly during interactions with other dogs or people who have been in contact with infected dogs, or indirectly through objects such as water bowls and kennels.

There is a canine influenza vaccine available for dogs.

The American Veterinary Association says that less than 10 percent of canine influenza cases proves to be fatal.

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