Vets Warn About the Spread of a Dangerous Dog Flu Strain

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Multiple cases of severe canine influenza have been recorded in San Francisco, New York, and Florida, and veterinarians warn that the situation could get much worse.

Canine influenza, or as it is more commonly known, dog flu, is a highly contagious viral infection that primarily affects the respiratory system of dogs. The flu virus can mutate relatively quickly, creating new strains of influenza which are then spread further. Unfortunately, it seems that precisely this is happening in the United States, where vets report a sudden uptick in dog flu cases.

According to New York Post, in less than a month, at least three dozen dogs in Brooklyn were diagnosed with canine influenza, and the prognosis is that this number is bound to grow quickly. Similarly, vets in San Francisco and Florida have seen a rise in dog flu cases- while the situation is not yet as severe as in New York, they are imploring pet parents to take all necessary precautions.

Dog flu spreads fast and with ease, as it’s transmitted through droplets or aerosols that pooches let out by merely barking, coughing, or sneezing. This means that places such as doggie daycare, dog parks and other areas where your pet can come into close contact with infected dogs should be avoided- at least until the situation improves. Additionally, American Veterinary Medical Association warns pet parents that they, too, can be the reason for the virus spreading and infecting their pets. While canine influenza cannot be transmitted to humans, we can still bring the virus home to our pooches by coming into contact with an infected dog. On surfaces, the virus can survive for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours and our hands for up to 12 hours.

Common symptoms of dog flu are a persistent cough, lethargy, loss of appetite, and nasal or ocular discharge. If you notice that your pooch is acting strange, be sure to take them to the nearest vet: with the right course of treatment, your four-legged friend will feel better in no time.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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