- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A new canine influenza that has sickened many dogs throughout the Midwest but has killed only a few has been confirmed in South Dakota, the state veterinarian said Tuesday.

Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the H3N2 strain of the dog flu virus in two cases in the Rapid City area, according to Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, who said he suspects there’s been unconfirmed cases elsewhere in the state.

This strain of dog flu has not been known to affect humans and is not likely to kill dogs, but is easily transmitted between dogs and can cause respiratory disease symptoms, including fever and coughing. It can spread among dogs by direct contact with an infected dog or by contact with contaminated objects.

All of the dogs who have been confirmed or suspected of having the flu have not died and are recovering, Oedekoven said.

Most of the cases so far in South Dakota have been connected to boarding facilities, where dogs spend large amounts of their day with dogs from other areas.

Oedekoven said dogs at daycares, dog parks or boarding facilities could be at increased risk of becoming infected and that owners of dog-related businesses should consult local veterinarians to develop biosecurity measures.

Pet owners should be aware that the virus is circulating in the state, but Oedekoven said it’s really not a cause for panic.

“Overall, dogs with the flu should recover and it shouldn’t be a big issue,” he said.

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