WASHINGTON - It's a real doggie downer. This year's annual end-of-summer swim for four-footed friends in Montgomery County has been cancelled.
The organizers at the Montgomery County Department of Recreation say they're not party poopers as they hate to let down your Labrador and bum out your Bichon. But they're acting out of an abundance of caution due to the recent outbreak of canine influenza.
As of Aug. 29, there have been 20 cases reported in the county and two fatalities. Canine influenza is highly contagious and close contact in kennels, dog parks and doggie daycare could spread the disease.
Mild cases of canine flue mimic kennel cough, and dogs may have nasal discharge. Severe cases can quickly lead to pneumonia and prove fatal. State officials are working to identify the exact subtype of virus they are dealing with, but that may take two to three weeks.
More information on canine flu is available online from Maryland's Department of Agriculture.
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