CHICAGO, April 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Scrappy, a two-year old Irish Terrier mix whose been a resident at Found Chicago dog rescue since March, is in serious condition with K-9 influenza -- an epidemic sweeping through Chicago since Easter that has already claimed the lives of six dogs and infected more than 1,000, according to the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control.
Found Chicago dog rescue is currently treating all but two of its rescue dogs for the flu virus. The 17 sick dogs are being kept in isolation kennels to help prevent the spread of this fast-acting virus Veterinarians believe is a unique Asian strain named H3N2 that has migrated here from South Korea and China.
"We need financial help right now to cover the extraordinary costs of vaccines and 24/7 treatment for these animals," said Found executive director, Juliana Villacorta. "Scrappy is definitely in the worst shape of all the dogs in our care, and we're doing everything we can to help stabilize his condition."
Veterinarian Derrick Landini of Heal and Animal Ark Veterinary Clinics who is treating Scrappy said, "the situation is further complicated by the fact we have a different flu virus strain than the one our current vaccine was formulated to address. Experts are working furiously to determine the benefits from our existing vaccine." Landini urged anyone with a dog showing signs of coughing, sneezing, fever, lethargy, appetite loss or a runny nose to go to their Vet clinic.
Chicagoans can help save Scrappy and the other animals in Found Chicago's care by logging on to www.savescrappy.com and making a donation. All proceeds will go to medical requirements and staff-care for the infected dogs.
Veterinarian and animal health officials say the virus is unique in its ability to quickly impact a dog's health. "We've seen a healthy dog go from normal to infected in a matter of hours," said Villacorta. "So we've made facility changes to separate the healthy from the sick dogs. We're working around the clock to help our dogs recover."
Found Chicago is a dog rescue facility focused on the unique needs of dogs with behavioral or health problems.
SOURCE Found Chicago