The Canine Influenza is Spreading Through the United States
22 January, 2018
Just as a serious ‘human’ flu endemic is spreading around the Country, there is a very serious dog flu that is affecting dogs severely. If your dog is acting differently, sneezing, coughing or seems run down, your dog might have the flu.
The dog flu has been affecting dogs around the country
Just like their owners, dogs across the country are coming down with flu-like symptoms due to widespread canine influenza. While it’s a flu strain that’s different than the one affecting humans (and there are no known cases of transmission), it’s just as dangerous and even more contagious among dogs.
Cases of canine influenza have been popping up around the country, including states like Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania and now Canada—and it’s highly contagious among dogs.
The canine influenza symptoms generally result in respiratory issues
Dog flu, also known as canine influenza, causes primarily respiratory issues. Symptoms, which may take up to 10 days to appear, include coughing, sneezing, fever, nasal discharge, lethargy and loss of appetite. Most dogs contract a mild form of the virus and only require supportive care to recover.
If not treated properly, this strain of dog flu can be fatal
If it’s not treated properly, the dog flu comes with a 10 percent mortality rate, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It can be fatal for cats, too. The viral infection is spread through barking, coughing, and sneezing when pets are in close contact with infected animals. It often spreads through kennels, dog shelters, groomers, and doggy day care centers.
The best way to reduce the risk of your dog getting the flu is the dog flu vaccine
To reduce your dog’s risk of getting dog flu, consider the dog flu vaccine. It does not eliminate the risk of your dog getting canine influenza entirely, but like with the human flu vaccine, can reduce illness length and severity. Make sure to keep your dog away from other dogs who appear ill and do the same if your dog shows any signs of illness. If there is an outbreak of dog flu in your community, steer clear of public areas like dog parks.
Most dogs exposed to the illness become infected
Nearly all dogs exposed to the illness become infected, and 80 percent show symptoms like coughing, lethargy, fever, decrease appetite, and a running nose. If your furry friend shows any of these symptoms, they should be taken to the vet immediately to be given medical treatment.
Talk to your vet about whether your pup should get the flu vaccine
You can protect your pup by disinfecting leashes, toys, water bowls, any other items that come in contact with other dogs, and by washing your hands as soon as you arrive home. And you should talk to your vet about the flu vaccine designed for canines.
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For even more info on the canine infuenza, read here