The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Florida confirmed the first dog flu cases. This highly infectious flu first appeared in the US in 2015. In the last week, veterinarians from the University of Florida treated 7 dogs that showed signs of dog flu. Most of these dogs needed hospitalization but they are now stable.
- Dog flu first appeared in the US in 2015.
- Seven cases of dog influenza have been confirmed in Florida.
- Sick pets should stay isolated to avoid the spread of the virus.
Canine Influenza virus (H3N2 CIV)
H3N2 CIV is a virus that infects dogs and causes the flu. Fortunately, the flu doesn’t affect humans and it is not fatal in most of cases. This virus can spread to cats and it can progress to other severe diseases when left untreated. One of those diseases is pneumonia.
“At least seven cases have been confirmed as H3N2, canine influenza virus. All the treated dogs are in stable condition but several have been hospitalized,” Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services mentioned in a statement
Pet Owners Should be Alert
Pet owners need to check their dogs because the disease is very easy to contract. Also, most dogs don’t have immunity to dog flu. The virus can survive 24 hours and dogs can catch it very easy if they are exposed to a place which was visited by another sick animal. Until now, veterinarians did not recommend vaccination against this virus because it wasn’t confirmed.
Now that more than 7 cases of dog flu have been confirmed, vaccinations are available for all cats and dog owners. Vaccination is recommended for dogs that are traveling with their owners. This virus originally affected birds in Korea, Thailand, and China. It is possible that the virus jumped to dogs that were near live bird markets.
In the US, the virus was first seen in Chicago in 2015. Then, hundreds of dogs and cats were affected by the dog flu. This virus spreads very quickly when the infected dogs sneeze. They can transmit the germs by up to almost 20 feet. In places where animals have close contact, outbreaks are likely to occur. Most of the dogs that are exposed to germs become infected but only 80% of them have symptoms.
Some of the symptoms include runny noses, fever, lethargy, cough, and sneezing. These symptoms can last up to three weeks even if the dogs receive treatment. Pet owners are advised to take their pet to the doctor when they notice any of these symptoms. Also, dogs that contracted dog flu should stay isolated in order to stop the spread of the disease.
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