Dog flu H3N2: 5 things pet owners in Clermont Florida need to know.
The dog flu has caused hundreds of canines in Chicago and about a thousand more across the US to get sick over the last two years. But until last month, Florida has been unaffected. Here’s what you need to know.
1. What is the Dog flu?
Dog flu, also known as the canine influenza virus, is a respiratory disease similar to what humans get when infected with the flu. If treated, most dogs will recover within a few days without complications.
2. What are the symptoms of dog flu?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms include coughing, runny nose, and a fever of 104-106 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature of 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit is typical. Some dogs may show signs of tiredness or a lack of appetite. In some cases, if the virus is left untreated, dogs can suffer from life-threatening pneumonia.
3. Is the dog flu contagious?
Canine Influenza is very contagious and can be spread by infected dogs by coughing or sneezing onto another dog. The virus can live up to two minutes on the skin or 24 hours or more on infected clothes or objects such as balls or dog toys. The areas most at risk for transmission include grooming parlors, dog parks or dog camps, boarding facilities or other locations where the animals are in close quarters.
4. How can dog flu be prevented?
Most dogs haven’t been vaccinated and therefore don’t have immunity to the virus. You can help protect against the illness by talking to your veterinarian about getting your pet vaccinated. If you suspect your dog has already been infected, vets recommend they be quarantined in the home until they are no longer contagious at least four weeks.
5. Are humans or other animals at risk of contracting dog flu?
So far there have been no reported human cases. Despite the name of the virus, cats can be infected too. There are no vaccinations for felines so the best way to protect them from the illness is to keep them away from infected dogs.
Michael is the owner and professional pet sitter of Paternal Pet Care in Clermont, Florida and a huge animal lover. He and his wife, Cassie, share their home with two rescued dogs.