San Francisco SPCA Confirms Case of Virulent Dog Flu

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This season’s H3N3 influenza epidemic is hitting much of North America hard. More hospitals are concerned with space and treatment options, as well as the fact that the virus seems to be more virulent and dangerous than in many years past.

Related: Highly Contagious H3N2 Canine Influenza Arrives in Canada

The same can be said for our furry friends, who are also at risk for Type A influenza strains typically known as H3N8 and H3N2. Known as the ‘dog flu,’ canine influenza can be serious for your pets as well.

Now the San Francisco, California SPCA has confirmed cases of the dog flu in San Francisco, and are urging all pet owners to get vaccinations for dogs who tend to be around larger groups of dogs–like when they play at dog parks or are boarded/groomed.

A vet from the South Bay area says that their vet hospital has already been presented with approximately 50 cases of possible dog flu.

Dogs who get the flu will actually present symptomology much like humans do. They can cough, have runny noses and even fever, and you may notice they are lethargic and not as interested in eating.

The dog flu is not typically a fatal virus, as can be the case in humans, and the Centers for Disease Control says that a very small percentage of dogs who acquire the flu actually die. Like in humans, though, the flu can lead to pneumonia, which is more deadly in numbers of pets, and so pet owners who believe their dogs have any symptoms should be sure to get a proper diagnosis and treatment as quickly as possible.

Related: Highly Contagious Canine Flu Making The Rounds In Los Angeles

Additionally, it’s important to keep your dog away from other dogs if you believe that they may be sick. Humans cannot contract these strains of the virus from dogs, but the virus can be carried on human clothing and through leashes and such, therefore making it much easier for other dogs to contract it.

The flu typically lasts about two to three weeks.


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