Veterinarians in Carlsbad and Hobbs, N.M., have begun seeing the year's first cases of canine influenza, a highly contagious virus that is often difficult to diagnose without blood tests or throat cultures. Most dogs recover from influenza, although a small number develop pneumonia; owners have the option of a vaccine that has been available for dogs six weeks and older since 2009, said veterinarian Robin Sankey.

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