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As if we humans don’t have enough to worry about with the soaring flu cases, our best friends on four legs are now ailing.

Canine influenza, known as dog flu, is a highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs and also cats.

Dogs and cats can show similar symptoms to ours. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, runny noses, fever and lethargy. Dog owners should call their vets if they see these signs and keep their pet away from other animals until they are treated. Cats will also exhibit upper respiratory issues and may tip us off through lip smacking and excessive salivation.

It’s not the same H3N1 virus that causes influenza in people. You can’t get the flu from your dog or your cat, and you can’t give it to your pet.

But dogs can spread their germs to other dogs and to cats, and cats can transmit to fellow felines — as well as dogs, the Verge reported.

The virus is most commonly transmitted by coughing and sneezing dogs, which can spread germs up to 20 feet.  Most dogs exposed to the virus will become infected, but only 80 percent will show symptoms, which start showing up two to three days after exposure to the virus. The most common symptom is a cough that can last up to three weeks, despite treatment with antibiotics.

Dog and cat flu is rarely fatal, but your pet may feel miserable for awhile. . Dogs and cats can also be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and fluids to maintain hydration until the flu passes.

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