Outbreaks of the flu don’t just affect humans. They can affect dogs too.
Currently, an outbreak of the flu is infecting dogs throughout the Chicago area. Rescuers are trying to fight it with everything from nebulizer treatments to Pedialyte, chicken soup, and liver sausage.
Fortunately, the flu is highly treatable. Unfortunately, it’s highly contagious, and it’s hitting dogs hard. Due to the outbreak, dog rescues have been forced to cancel adoption events and fundraisers. When dogs aren’t adopted, animal shelters run out of space. And when shelters run out of space, the animals are euthanized.
At first, the flu was just affecting the general dog population. And a few weeks ago, it even seemed like the situation was improving. The number of dogs taken to the vet for the flu had stabilized and even started decreasing. But then, the flu hit the animal shelters themselves. First appearing at small shelters, it quickly spread to the larger facilities. At this point, vets have reported more than 1,100 cases of dog flu in the region.
Pet owners in Chicago are being advised to keep their dogs away from other dogs to stop the spread of the virus. Luckily, the dog flu does not appear to be transferable to humans. Shelters are also looking for people who don’t currently have dogs who would be willing to host a dog for the short term, until things calm down. If you’re interested in doing so, you can contact your local animal shelter.