Dogs Flu Across the County: More Than Just Under the Weather

Dogs are our best friends, they are always there for you and always want to cuddle. Anyone can tell you just how amazing a dog is and how much it takes to care for one of the furry friends. Every pet owner knows about the heart worm prevention, flea prevention, parasite prevention, annual (or every 3 years) rabies shots, the list goes on and on. Just like humans dogs can get the flu but until recently this hasn’t been a huge fear.

The Midwest is experiencing an epidemic as in Canine Influenza. The strain H3N8 is causing many dogs to become ill and even killing a few. This flu, much like the one humans get, causing coughing, fever, and runny nose. To diagnose, veterinarians are telling patients to not enter the clinics as this flu is so easily spread. If you think your dog may have the flu make sure you call your local vet and ask first before testing.

That’s what makes this strain of Canine Influenza so scary, how easily it is spread. Usually with illnesses dogs need contact with another infected dog directly. However with H3N8 dogs can pick it up off of other surfaces infected dogs have touched. For example examination tables, floors, your clothing can even be a threat if you come into contact with an infected dog.

So don’t be surprised that your dog parks are empty, pet stores are cleared, and your vet is being a little more cautious before your next check-up. While it is mainly the Midwest that is being affected, it is expected to spread much further because of how easy it is to get infected.

If you think your dog may have Canine Influenza please call your vet before walking in. You may be able to save not only your pup’s life, but the lives of other amazing animals.

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