Canine influenza is in the Phoenix area

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K-9 Influenza detected in Phoenix area. K-9 Influenza detected in Phoenix area.

Man’s best friend is in danger of catching the flu. Yes, dogs can catch the flu!

Authorities with the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control have detected 2 cases of canine influenza (H3N2) in their shelters. It is the first time the illness has been detected inside of a sheltered environment, which means the K-9 flu is already in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Symptoms of the canine flu in your furry friend include soft coughing that can last for weeks, or a fever of 104-106 degrees, which could lead to canine pneumonia and could be fatal. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, take them to a vet right away.

[RELATED: Dog flu found in eight states]

There is an approved vaccine for canine influenza, and prevention is the best way to make sure your dog avoids the disease. A flu shot for dogs who have regular contact with other dogs, kennels, or dog parks is highly recommended by the MCACC.

Hygiene is also a key factor to prevention: make sure your pets are washed regularly, and owners should wash their own hands after petting other dogs. Make sure your dog is seeing a vet on a regular basis.

[RELATED SECTION: Critter Corner: Animal News]

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