LEESBURG, GA (WALB) - A highly contagious dog flu is spreading through Florida and now veterinarians in South Georgia are warning pet owners about the virus.
It can occur year-round and can be spread from dog to dog through direct contact, coughing, breathing.
It can contaminate objects like a food or water bowl.
Symptoms can range from persistent coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, and decreased appetite.
With summer approaching, more dogs will be boarded while their owners are on vacation, which means they'll be in contact with other dogs.
So now's the time to act.
Dr. Trey Morrison said thankfully, the canine influenza hasn't reached south Georgia yet, but he's heard reports of it in north Georgia and north Florida.
"Certainly as the virus is getting closer and closer to this area," he said, "any dog that comes in with coughing is a suspect canine influenza at this point until everything is ruled out."
It's not transferable to people.
There is a vaccine available to protect your dog from getting the flu.
Ask your vet about whether the vaccine is the appropriate step for your pet.
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