NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- With record high cases and even deaths this year, the flu is widespread and a huge concern. But humans aren't the only ones facing the sickness: your furry friend may be at risk, too.
It's called canine influenza, or dog flu.
"The virus is highly contagious, so it's a respiratory virus. It's transmitted amongst dogs. It is species-specific so humans, cats, they aren't going to be affected," said veterinarian Betsy Marshall, owner of Ghent Veterinary Hospital in Norfolk.
Unlike the flu humans get, dog flu isn't seasonal.
"It's unfortunately just more of when the dogs are getting together. So it tends to hit kennels, boarding facilities, daycares more commonly," said Marshall.
Although she said dog flu hasn't yet impacted Hampton Roads, it's good to know the signs and symptoms to look for. If you suspect your canine is sick, don't bring them around other people's dogs.
"If they're coughing, they're really lethargic, not eating, there's a nasal discharge... stuff like that, I would probably bring them to your vet," added Marshall.
If your pet goes to public places, she suggests the pooch gets the flu vaccine.
"It's one vaccine. We booster it three to four weeks later, and then you're good for the year," she added.