Dog owners need to be aware that the Canine Flu virus has surfaced in Minnesota with three cases reported in the state last week. According to Bringmethenews.com and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health three of the cases had been found in Carver County which is in the Southwest Metro area and 1 case in Kandiyohi County which is in West-Central Minnesota.

Alerts have been sent to Veterinarians across the state who in turn have been warning pet owners.  Canine influenza is a very contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by Type A influenza virus. It can be transmitted to dogs by coughing, sneezing or even barking from an infected dog. They also can become infected by people who have been in contact with infected dogs, or indirectly through objects such as water bowls and kennels.

The clinical signs of canine influenza are generally mild but include coughing, runny nose and fever. If your dog seems to display any of these signs contact your veterinarian immediately to seek treatment. There is a canine influenza vaccine that is available for dogs.

According to the American Veterinary Association almost all dogs regardless of breed or age are at risk to get canine Influenza though if infected 80% of these cases are generally fairly mild. Dogs that are frequently exposed to other dogs like in kennels, dog groomers, dog parks etc.are at greater risk.

Fatal cases of Canine Influenza have been reported caused by pneumonia but thankfully that is fewer than 10% of cases that have been found. If you have any concerns regarding this disease contact your veterinarian about treatment options.