Indiana Animal Health Board warns of canine influenza

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health says dog owners should be watchful for signs of canine influenza.

The board says a handful of cases have been reported in Indiana while other states have experienced significantly more.

Canine influenza is highly contagious and dogs can become infected by inhaling airborne respiratory secretions or making contact with nasal discharge from infected dogs.

Veterinarian Dr. Sandy Norman Normal says healthy dogs, if exposed, will likely become ill but recover. However, very old, very young and immuno-suppressed canines are at higher risk. Severe cases can turn into pneumonia that can be fatal.

The board says owners who notice signs of canine influenza in their dogs should consult a veterinarian. Coughing is usually the first sign and can last up to three weeks.