If you are a dog owner, beware. There is an outbreak of Canine influenza in Northern Illinois.

The outbreak is much more serious than Kennel Cough and appears to be mostly confined to the Chicago area. Animal hospitals have been inundated with cases

Experts warn that if not treated properly, the virus can be deadly.

Cases of canine influenza, or dog flu, are on the uptick in the Chicago area. Experts are now calling it an "epidemic".

Canine Influenza warning signs to look for in your dog according to a report by ABC-TV:

  • A high fever
  • loss of appetite
  • a never-ending cough
  • If your dog is lethargic

The cases keep coming according to veterinarians. Dr. Joanna Harchut told ABC-TV

We've seen upwards of 80 pets with presumed canine influenza and other respiratory diseases in the past two weeks

Vets are counting on prevention and communication to slow and stop the spread of the outbreak.

Warning signs are being posted at dog parks in the Chicago area. ABC-TV reports that dog owners are encouraged to keep their dogs away from any place where there is close contact with other dogs. They also encourage cleaning anything a dog touches.