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Dog flu sickens canines in Midwest

Animals in 4 states affected

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(iStock/NRedmond)

Dog owners in several Midwestern states are being cautioned of a new strain of dog flu that has sickened at least a thousand animals.

According to The Associated Press, dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana are being affected.

Tests have identified the strain as H3N2, and it's unknown how effective current vaccines are against it, The AP story said.

Symptoms of the flu are coughing, runny nose and fever in dogs. Some could develop more severe symptoms, and The AP reported that some deaths related to the infection have been recorded.

Experts say that dog owners should not bring sick dogs to areas where they interact with other dogs and could spread the disease. The canine strain is not contagious to humans but could spread to cats, The AP story said.