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Test confirms cases of canine influenza in Bozeman

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BOZEMAN, Mont. - Creekside Veterinary Hospital received two positive tests for canine influenza from a lab at Cornell University on Tuesday, said veterinarian Jarrod Moss.

The confirmed influenza samples provide useful information to veterinarians after a coughing outbreak spread throughout Bozeman in July, causing pneumonia in at least 10 dogs and killing at least three. Moss believes the disease is the cause of the July coughing outbreak.

"Two confirmed cases of canine influenza is enough for us to assume two things," Moss said. "One is that it's widespread in this area, and two, probably the majority of dogs that we're seeing for coughing and signs of respiratory disease are most likely influenza."

In August so far Moss said there have been 39 confirmed cases of canine influenza in Texas, Florida and Kentucky. He says he's concerned dogs visiting Bozeman could spread the disease even farther.

"Those dogs have probably been exposed to influenza, and they're going home all across the country and potentially spreading influenza all across the country," Moss said. "We could have a serious outbreak on our hands."

Moss encourages owners to vaccinate their dogs against canine influenza. He also urges dog owners to continue to keep their dogs away from parks, groomers and boarding facilities, as the disease can stay in the environment for up to 48 hours.

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