Does your bow-wow bud have a runny nose? Does he cough a lot? If so, then he may be coming down with a case of canine influenza. While the disease itself is not lethal, it can induce certain respiratory complication in canines such as pneumonia. According to a recent report dog flu is spreading like wildfire in the US, encompassing more than 24 states.
Winter being dubbed the season of influenza, it is fairly common for vets to receive calls from concerned owners about their pets coming down with all the symptoms of influenza. Again, this is not uncommon for this time of the year, but it seems that the number of dog flu cases has increased in the last month.
Many medical specialists have declared that this whole situation has gotten out of hand. We are no longer dealing with a few isolated cases of dog influenza, but a full-blown outbreak of the disease. And it seems that the dogs coming down with the disease are infected with different strains of influenza.
Among the states affected by this disease are Montana, the cities of Seattle and Chicago. Not even Washington was spared. According to vet working in Helena, one of the dogs brought in after displaying the symptoms of canine flu was diagnosed with the H3N2 strain of the disease.
Moreover, statewide, several doggy day care centers had been temporarily closed down, due to multiple concerns regarding the method of transmission.
So, what do the specialists have to say about canine influenza? Concerning the H3N2 strain of the virus, it would seem that it rarely infects dogs. Several vets have declared that this strain of the flu is more common in cats or rats than in dogs. However, even dogs can get it if they come into close contact with an infected animal. The disease usually has an incubation period of 24 hours.
Moreover, you can unknowingly infect your dog with the flu. Vets cautioned canine owner to be very careful when approaching their dogs if they’ve been outside. The virus can even hide inside our clothes. Make sure to wash your hands with hot water and soap before petting your dog.
How do tell if your dog is coming down with canine influenza? There are a couple of signs and symptoms you should be looking for. Canine influenza usually has the following symptoms: lethargy, respiratory issues (your dog has trouble breathing), coughing, trouble eating or loss of appetite.
Dog flu is spreading like wildfire in the US, and the vets are urging all the dog owners to vaccinate their pet. The vaccine will not prevent your pet from becoming infected with the virus, but he will display milder symptoms.