Bad news for man's best friend

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Editor's Note: Last Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, we aired a story about Canine Influenza ... also called the dog flu. we want to clarify that there currently are no confirmed cases of the dog flu in South Dakota so far in 2018. The veterinarian we interviewed was referring to previous years. We regret any misunderstanding this may have caused for our viewers.

There could be some bad news about this year's flu season and it involves man's best friend.

There hasn't been a major outbreak in South Dakota but there have been confirmed cases in Rapid City in 2017.

Places like animal day cares, pet stores or dog parks put the animal at a higher risk of getting the flu. It can be spread by just like any other virus through contact or when someone sneezes. Each dog is affected differently just like humans, but it's important to know the signs.

"Depending on the age and the stage of your dog, if he's just a little bit off right now and otherwise eating and drinking and bright and alert, you might be okay to watch," said Dr. Serena Heig, veterinarian at Mountain View Animal Hospital and Canyon Lake Animal Hospital. "If you start seeing where it has gone on for a couple of days, the sneezing is getting worse, the eyes are now drippy, yeah then you'd at that point, if it seems like it's lasting or getting worse definitely get them taking in and checked out."

Heig warns dog owners to not freak out, but the flu is here and if your in doubt, take your pet in to get evaluated to start treatment as soon as possible.