WALWORTH COUNTY (WITI) -- A canine flu outbreak has affected hundreds of pets throughout the Midwest. The canine flu has been reported in four states, including Wisconsin, with many cases in Chicago and northern Illinois.
Mercy Selazo, manager of Lollipups Pet Resort in Delavan says it was over Easter break when she started getting calls from families in Chicago.
In this story
A spike in canine flu cases is being blamed for that. Symptoms include:
- Variable fever
- Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
- Rapid/difficult breathing
- Loss of appetite
The canine flu is contagious. It can be given to dogs by other dogs and even by humans.
"People can carry it on their skin for up to 12 hours and on their clothes for 24 hours," Selazo said.
That's why cleaning at Lollipups is Charlie Richardson's top job.
"Just to make sure nothing gets spread around. It's just like a school. It can spread around very quickly so we are always on top of it," Richardson said.
One of the first things that happens when a new animal comes in to Lollipups is the BAR test. BAR is an acronym for Bright, Alert and Responsive. The test can give employees the first indication that there is a problem with a dog.
The canine flu has been deadly, so that's why the folks at Lollipups are taking it so seriously.
"They are now offering the vaccines around here which we are definitely are telling our clients it's a good thing to look into," Selazo said.
The canine flu outbreak in Chicago has prompted officials to tell dog owners to postpone trips to dog parks and doggy daycare centers until the worst of the outbreak passes. Dogs younger than one year and older than seven are most at risk.