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Veterinarians warning pet owners their dogs can get the flu, too

File photo. B.C. vets are warning pet owners to keep an eye on their dogs, in case they get the flu.
File photo. B.C. vets are warning pet owners to keep an eye on their dogs, in case they get the flu. Cory McGraw/Global News

While many British Columbians are reaching for the tissue box, it appears influenza is also on the radar for man’s best friend.

Veterinarians on the West coast say it’s time to take caution following several canine flu cases popping up in Ontario.

Sarah Armstrong, B.C. Chapter President of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, said while most cases are mild, there are severe signs to watch for.

“Lethargic, not wanting to eat. The owners may or may not notice difficulty breathing, increased respiratory rate – they’ll see their rib cages really actively moving. If they have a secondary bacterial infection they’ll be coughing yellow or green discharge or have yellow or green discharge coming from their nose.”

READ MORE: Is Calgary facing an outbreak of kennel cough?

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Armstrong advised any pet owners that see similar signs, including their pets coughing up blood, to take their dog to the vet right away.

She adds severe cases could also include fever and pneumonia.

Armstrong said canine influenza is highly contagious between dogs, but not to humans.