The state Division of Animal Health has issued an alert that there is a cluster of confirmed canine influenza cases in Essex County.
The state said dog owners who are concerned that their dogs may have influenza should consult with their veterinarian. Vets who are seeing an increased number of the cases should contact the state Division of Animal Health.
According to the ASPCA, canine influenza is highly contagious and dogs of any age, breed or vaccine status are susceptible.
Dogs usually get the virus when in close proximity to infectious dogs.
The ASPCA provided these general symptoms:
- Variable fever
- Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
- Rapid/difficult breathing
- Loss of appetite
The ASPCA said the fatality rate is low if the virus is quickly diagnosed and treated. Deaths are usually caused by secondary complications, such as pneumonia, said the ASPCA.