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St. Francis Animal Hospital Warns of Growing Canine Influenza Outbreak

LAS VEGAS, May 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Veterinarian Dr. David Drake of St. Francis Animal Hospital in Las Vegas is warning dog owners that canine influenza is spreading across the Midwest and into the Southwest, with over 1,000 reported cases so far. Canine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that spreads easily between dogs, but not humans. Dr. Drake says severe cases can lead to pneumonia and death. He advises dog owners to take precautions such as keeping coughing dogs and their toys and bedding away from healthy dogs, as well as get core pet vaccines.

"So far, we've been lucky with this outbreak; most of the dogs have recovered after a difficult illness," says Dr. Drake. "Right now, the H3N2 canine influenza is spreading, and while there isn't currently an approved vaccine for that, we do recommend that dogs in the area—especially those frequently in contact with other dogs—are up-to-date on all of their other core dog vaccinations."

Symptoms of canine influenza include sneezing, coughing, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy. Dr. Drake advises dog owners with these symptoms to keep them away from other dogs and to bring them to the animal hospital as soon as possible for a diagnosis and to receive care. He says that canine influenza treatment is designed to help the animal rest and stay hydrated, as dehydration can cause other health complications. If the veterinarian discovers a secondary infection, he may prescribe antibiotics, but he adds that antibiotics cannot actually cure the virus.

According to Dr. Drake, canine influenza spreads very easily between dogs. He says healthy dogs can catch influenza from a sick dog's coughing and sneezing particles, as well as coming into contact with saliva on shared toys, bedding or bowls. He advises owners of sick dogs to keep them away from other dogs until the illness resolves, and to disinfect toys, bedding, clothing, surfaces and anything else that may have come into contact with the sick dog.

"Dog owners shouldn't panic about canine influenza, but they should definitely be aware of it and take precautions to keep their dogs healthy and avoid catching it," says Dr. Drake. "If your dog is coughing or sneezing and doesn't seem to feel well, don't hesitate to bring them in for a checkup." He advises concerned dog owners to call the animal hospital at 702-675-8366 if they have questions or concerns about their pet.

St. Francis Animal Hospital provides pet wellness care services such as vaccinations, microchipping and checkups, as well as urgent and routine pet surgery, pet dental care, boarding and weight control for pets. To learn more, visit the website at http://www.stfrancisanimalhospitallasvegas.com.

CONTACT: St. Francis Animal Hospital 702-675-8366Source:St. Francis Animal Hospital