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Experts suggest keeping pets away from wild birds, be cautious of Avian Flu

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 4:38 PM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Minnesota Board of Animal veterinarians say it won’t hurt to be cautious when it comes to preventing your pets from getting the bird flu. Which might mean avoiding areas where infected birds are known to be, like Rochester’s Silver Lake.

A few weeks ago, the City of Rochester alerted the community that six geese were found dead at Silver Lake. After an autopsy, it was determined that the birds died from the Avian Flu. City officials tell KTTC to expect more birds dying in the same fashion.

As of Thursday, there are no reported cases of the bird flu in dogs or cats. Experts, like Minnesota Board of Animal Health Senior Veterinarian Courtney Wheeler, said the bigger risk is the possibility of bringing the virus home and infecting a backyard poultry flock.

“If people are out and about, and they know they’ve been around wildlife, especially where positive birds have been identified, they should thoroughly clean their dogs before they have any contact with their domestic poultry,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler added that the risk is relatively low for dogs and cats. Once the weather is warm, the risk will go down.

The bird flu has impacted millions of birds across the U.S., and even a few other animals, too. A few weeks ago a fox was infected by the bird flu, after eating an infected bird.

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