Dog dies from dog flu in suburban shelter

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TINLEY PARK, Ill -- A dog battling the canine flu at the PAWS animal shelter in Tinley Park has died.

3-year-old Johnny Suede died in the arms of a volunteer worker at the shelter.

He had been adopted, but returned for treatment.

PAWS closed temporarily last month, after 35 cases of the dog flu were confirmed.

Dog flu is highly contagious and in some cases fatal.

Officials at PAWS say they continue to test the dogs and they have seen some improvement.

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  • Carol

    What I would like to know…is where did the dog flu come from, and when did it get here? I’ve never heard of it until this year, and I’ve had animals for 40 years!

    • Mike

      The dog flu has been around for a decent amount of time. The common strain of dog flu in the US is H3N8 (first identified in the US in 2004), which as a standard vaccine that is pretty good at working against it; however this strain (H3N2) is from South Korea and China and has not been seen in the US before. This is also the first time that it has been known to cross into different type of animals too (mainly cats), as before the flu variation did not affect them.

      Most dogs die from pneumonia, related to the the weakness of their immune system from the flu. There is a vaccine for the new flu (H3N2), however it is not available here and little is known about it.