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SARASOTA (CBSMiami) – Some pet owners around the state have become reluctant to take their furry friends to the dog park because of terrible flu season this year.

Dr. Howard Small, with the Forest Lake Animal Clinic in Sarasota, said he is seeing flu-like symptoms in dogs.

“This time of year we are seeing an uptick in upper respiratory infections that can be para-influenza virus or bacteria,” said small.

Symptoms include fever, coughing, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

“Just in general with the flu out there, if your dog goes to the park, boarding facilities, high-density places like daycare settings I would have your vet vaccinate for the flu,” said Small.

Vets say more of the threat than the flu is Parvovirus.

“Parvo is deadly,” said Small.

Nate’s Honor Rescue in Lakewood Ranch lost a puppy to Parvo earlier this month. Twenty-three other dogs got sick but have since recovered. The shelter stopped adoptions for several days to disinfect the facility.

“They get it from other dogs its shed in their feces and overcrowding situations are more at risk,” said Small.

The parvo outbreak at Honor’s started when the rescue took in more than two dozen dogs from a shelter in Georgia.

Symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Small recently treated a puppy bought from a breeder online in Texas that wasn’t vaccinated.

“Two days later the puppy was sick, two days after that it was dead,” he said. “It’s out there, I want to emphasize get your puppies vaccinated.”

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