There's a pretty scary virus spreading around the country targeting dogs, and it's causing serious illness, and sometimes death. Here's what we know so far about this 2023 strain of dog influenza, according to Dr. Dan Gilchrist, of the Waterville Veterinary Clinic.

"Nothing," said Dr. Dan. Actually, we know very little at this point, because all of this is still very new for physicians who take care of dogs. There are many investigations going on right now, but "they still don't know what's causing it," he said. "It's sort of like COVID. It's an upper respiratory infection. Some animals whose immune system is compromised, it can develop into pneumonia, it can cause mortality." Dr. Dan said they're not seeing a high rate of mortality, but they are seeing a high rate of infection. Much like COVID, for dogs who are medically compromised, this can be very dangerous.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says these symptoms are prevalent with infected dogs: The signs of this illness in dogs are cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite, but not all dogs will show signs of illness.

The CDC says it's spread through cough droplets:

Almost all dogs are susceptible to canine flu infection, and virus infection tends to spread among dogs housed in kennels and shelters. Canine flu is thought to spread mainly among dogs through respiratory droplets produced during coughing and sneezing from infected dogs, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. Therefore, dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not expose their dog to other dogs or to cats. Clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease.

The CDC on whether or not the virus can be spread to humans:

In general, canine influenza viruses are thought to pose a low threat to people. To date, there is no evidence of spread of canine influenza viruses from dogs to people and there has not been a single reported case of human infection with a canine influenza virus in the U.S. or worldwide.

Dr. Dan said that just like COVID, social distancing is recommended until this passes, and we know more. Meaning, try to isolate your dog from other pets, a similar practice to social distancing for humans during COVID-19.

Listen to the interview with Dr. Dan below.

13 Of New York State's Most Wanted Criminals- December 2023

Below are individuals wanted by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision's (DOCCS) Office of Special Investigations who have been designated as its Most Wanted Fugitives. They should be considered armed and dangerous. This list is current as of 12/01/2023:

NEVER attempt to apprehend a fugitive yourself. If you have information on the location of any of these fugitives, you can contact OSI 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to report it. All leads and tips are treated as confidential information.

If an immediate response is necessary, such as you see the wanted person at a location, please call “911” and report it to the police.

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

Stars We Lost in 2022

See the famous icons we have had to say goodbye to in 2022, below.

Gallery Credit: Jacklyn Krol

11 of New York's Most Wanted Criminals with Upstate Connections

Below are individuals with ties to the Capital Region and Upstate New York. They have been designated as some of New York's Most Wanted Fugitives and should be considered ARMED and DANGEROUS.


More From WIBX 950