BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. - A rare dog virus has has one veterinarian recommending vaccination, after two mixed-breed rescue dogs from New York City tested positive for canine influenza.
About a week ago, the dogs which was was adopted by a Capital Region family after Hurricane Sandy displaced them, were found to be showing symptoms of canine influenza. The disease was identified in the dogs by Dr. Stephanie Todd of Harmony Veterinary Clinic in Ballston Spa. It was one of her clients who adopted them.
"Canine influenza can be a very dangerous disease, potentially fatal, if left untreated. Many owners don't even know their dogs have the disease, because not all dogs show the usual symptoms of excessive coughing or lethargy."
Dr. Todd says canine influenza can superficially be diagnosed as "kennel cough," a minor but highly contagious disease. She says the treatment for dog flu includes antibiotics, fluids and oxygen. Dr. Todd recommends anyone who notices excessive coughing in their dog see a veterinarian right away.
The dogs diagnosed in Ballston Spa are doing well, and no other dogs have contracted the disease locally from the dog, which was quarantined after its diagnosis.
Research does not show canine influenza to be a threat to humans.