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Your dog, Fido, can get the flu, too


Last spring, canine influenza outbreaks were reported in neighboring states such as Vermont and Massachusetts.

While the disease has yet to reach outbreak status in New Hampshire, it is being reported in other states along the East Coast.

News outlets in the Washington, D.C. area have reported that the Maryland Department of Agriculture has identified six dogs infected with canine influenza in Montgomery County last week, and two of the dogs have died.

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association cautions dog owners in the area to watch for signs of the highly contagious disease, which can cause an acute respiratory infection.

The virus can't be passed to humans, but in rare cases it can cause the onset of pneumonia in affected dogs.

As with any disease outbreak, owners are cautioned to avoid places where dogs congregate, such as dog parks.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the so-called dog flu can be spread by direct contact with infected dogs, contaminated objects and through people who have come into contact with infected dogs.

A canine influenza vaccine is available, and pet owners should consult their veterinarian for further information.

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