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Atlanta pet owners urged to monitor their dogs for symptoms as virus spreads

ATLANTA, GA (January 2, 2023) – LifeLine Animal Project announces safety protocols at three shelters in DeKalb and Fulton counties after several dogs test positive for the Canine Influenza virus type H3N2. LifeLine is actively searching for space to temporarily house any new emergency intake so no additional animals are exposed. Shelters will remain open with safety protocols in place for adoptions and fostering, with ppe being offered to visitors and guests. Animals will recover better in homes with quarantine guidelines in place.

In addition to the county shelters, LifeLine Community Animal Center will still be open for adoptions and clinic appointments, with all teams remaining separated to avoid cross-contamination of staff, visitors and animals. Quarantine protocols will remain in place at all locations until Jan 21, at which point they will be reassessed.
LifeLine’s Dr. Ian Flower confirms the highly-contagious, airborne virus has been surging across the country, including Atlanta, since the end of November. “It is like a kennel cough, but it spreads rapidly. Most of the time your pet will get over it within 2-3 weeks, but occasionally there are complications and you’ll need to contact a vet. It’s similar to the flu in humans,” he shared.

Nearly 1,000 dogs in LifeLine’s care have been/will be proactively treated with antibiotics to prevent any further spread. Dog flu symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, labored breathing, and lethargy. If a dog has low or no energy, decreased appetite and/or labored breathing, contact your veterinarian immediately, as it may be an indication of pneumonia, which is rare but can be fatal. The virus cannot be transmitted to humans.

Donations are greatly needed at this time not only to support sick animals but to build a temporary shelter for community animals who require emergency assistance. Support is crucial to provide the staffing, medications and resources necessary to see this crisis through Donations can be made at
In the meantime, it’s important that you monitor your dog for symptoms and avoid any communal gathering places for pets such as dog parks or boarding facilties. If your dog exhibits signs of canine flu, please keep them isolated for 28 days from the last point of contact with the affected animal.

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