Canine influenza has been hitting the news a lot lately, stirring up emotion and fear within dog owners all across the country. Of course, we all just want to keep our dogs safe. So what do you need to know about canine influenza to help protect your dog? We’ve broken it down into ten quick facts for you.
1) According to one of AERC’s board-certified criticialists, Dr. Justine Lee, the current strain of canine influenza, (H3N2) has not been seen in North America before, suggesting it may have recently arrived from Asia.
2) The virus has now reached Minnesota.
3) As far as we know, people cannot get this type of flu, however cats can.
4) This strain is more virulent than previously thought. But don’t panic! Read on.
5) Symptoms of canine flu include:
- a non-productive cough
- lethargy or depression
- runny nose
6) Canine flu, similar to the flu in humans, primarily affects:
- young animals
- senior animals
- immunocompromised animals
7) Clinical signs in most healthy animals will be limited to a cough and lethargy.
8) There is a test to confirm H3N2, although it won’t change the treatment plan. The test is merely to confirm the illness for epidemiological tracking purposes. It usually takes about a week to receive results once the laboratory receives the sample.
9) If you have animals at risk as described in #6, you may wish to stay away from public areas where there are multiple dogs, like dog parks, boarding kennels, or grooming salons. If you have a healthy adult animal, these areas are unlikely to pose a serious danger.
10) If your dog comes down with a cough (the most easily recognized symptom), schedule an appointment with your veterinarian right away! Don’t expose other dogs to your dog, either.