Connecticut vets are warning residents to be on the lookout during what seems to be an aggressive dog flu season. Over the summer there were 9 confirmed cases of dog flu, but it wasn’t the number of dogs getting ill that had veterinarians concerned, but the H3N2 strain that is causing the illness.
Concerned owners should watch out for coughing and sneezing in their dogs, which can later become high fever and pneumonia.
Though humans can’t catch dog flu, the virus is extremely contagious between dogs. The H3N2 strain caused outbreaks in the Chicago area in 2015, which then spread rapidly across the country. One dog tested positive for the virus in a Chicago shelter in early April 2015 during the outbreak, and by the end of the month nearly 50 dogs had become infected. By the end of the year dogs in 25 states had been infected.
Experts recommend having your dog vaccinated. DogFlu.com reminds owners that it only takes one interaction for your dog to be exposed to the virus, and that nearly every dog exposed will become infected. You can take precautions by keeping your dog out of boarding facilities, day cares, and dog parks or pools. Vaccinating is the best way you can keep your dog from becoming ill.
Veterinarians in Virginia and North Carolina both recently reported an unidentified respiratory disease spreading in dogs in their states, but there’s no word on whether these concerns are related.
You can learn more about how dog flu spreads and how to protect your dog at DogFlu.com
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