June 15, 2017
What You Need To Know About Dog Flu
You can get the flu but did you know your dog can as well? It’s called canine influenza (CIV) – or dog flu – and cases of it have been popping up all over the country. The University of Florida has confirmed the first 7 cases of H3N2 Canine Influenza Virus in the state of Florida.
“H3N2 canine influenza has arrived in Florida, and this is a strain that our dogs have never encountered before. Because of this, almost 100% of dogs exposed to this virus will be infected. Canine influenza is a high morbidity/low mortality disease, meaning many will be affected but few will die of this virus. The dogs most at risk for deadly complications include the young, the old, and the ill,” this according Dr. Christian Broadhurst of Clay Humane.
As a pet owner, here’s what you need to know. There are two strains of canine influenza present in the dog population – H3N8 and H3N2, the latter is an Asian strain of CIV and is brand new in the United States.
A dog may shed CIV H3N2 for up to 24 days, which means the dog is contagious and spreading the disease during that time period. As a result, the infection can spread quickly among social dogs in inner cities, doggie daycares, boarding facilities, dog parks, sporting and show events and any location where dogs commingle. H3N2 is also incredibly contagious. It can be spread easily by direct contact with infected dogs (sniffing, licking, nuzzling), through the air (coughing, barking or sneezing), and by contact with contaminated objects such as dog bowls and clothing.
Protect Your Dog
- To prevent the spread of disease, wash your hands with soap and water or disinfect them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with dogs.
- Dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities where other dogs can be exposed to the virus.
- Vaccinate your pet
Signs of CIV
Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog has the following symptoms:
- Discharge from the nose or eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy/lack of energy
To help protect your pet against this contagious virus, contact Clay Humane regarding the influenza vaccine. This immunization is a 2-part series that requires a second vaccination 2 weeks after the first.
Clay Humane encourages pet owners to protect their four-legged family members from this highly contagious virus. If you suspect your dog may have been exposed, please contact your veterinarian. For more information visit www.doginfluenza.com.