In recent weeks, there has been an outbreak of canine flu in several parts of the United States. This respiratory illness is highly contagious and can spread quickly from dog to dog.
What is Canine Flu?
Canine flu, also known as dog flu, is a highly infectious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. There are two strains of canine flu: H3N8 and H3N2. H3N8 was first identified in dogs in the United States in 2004, and H3N2 was first identified in dogs in Asia in 2007. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, both strains can be traced to influenza strains known to infect animals other than dogs, such as birds and horses. Canine influenza viruses pose a low threat to people and there is no evidence of spread from dogs to people
Symptoms of Canine Flu
The symptoms of canine flu are similar to those of human flu. They include:
Loss of appetite
If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Where is the Outbreak Occurring?
The current outbreak of canine flu is occurring in several parts of the United States, including Texas, California, and New York. It is important to note that the flu can easily spread from state to state, so it is important to be vigilant no matter where you live.
How to Protect Your Dog
The best way to protect your dog from canine flu is to get them vaccinated. The vaccine is available for both strains of the virus, and it is recommended for all dogs, especially those who are frequently around other dogs. If your dog is showing any symptoms of the flu, it is important to keep them away from other dogs until they have fully recovered. In addition to getting your dog vaccinated, there are other things you can do to help prevent the spread of canine flu. These include:
Washing your hands regularly, especially after touching other dogs
Avoiding dog parks and other areas where dogs congregate
Disinfecting toys and other items that your dog comes into contact with
Keeping your dog away from sick dogs
If your dog is showing any symptoms of the flu, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Make sure your dog is up to date on their vaccinations, and take steps to prevent the spread of the virus.
If you have more questions about canine influenza join us for one of our live veterinarian Q&A sessions