NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s called H5N1, or bird flu, and now it is responsible for the death of a dog in Canada.

Officials said the dog died after chewing on an infected wild goose.

Monitoring has found that the flu is also killing wild birds in Connecticut. Yale Medicine Physician Thomas Murray spoke to News 8 about how it’s transmitted.

“If other mammals like a dog or a cat are exposed, again direct exposure to a sick or dead bird they can unfortunately get sick or infected as well like unfortunately happened to the dog,” Murray said.

According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, birds infected with bird flu are being found on a regular basis in states.

Last month, two red tail hawks in Middlesex and Litchfield Counties were found dead.
Over previous months great horned owls, an eagle, ducks and swans were found dead.

Murray said pet owners should be alert.

“If [a pet] do kind of grab a dead carcass and bring it home then to monitor them very carefully for respiratory symptoms and illness and if that happens then to call their vet right away,” he said.

There has only been one human infection of bird flu. That person worked closely with poultry and survived. Murray points out that it is a flu which can mutate, but the CDC has an excellent monitoring program, so again the human risk is low and being watched closely.