The dog flu, also known as Canine Influenza, reached the United States in 2004. It began as the H3N8 virus at a Greyhound race track in Florida. Since 2007, the virus has rapidly spread across the United States and mutated into the H3N2 virus. The dog flu has currently been detected in every continental state except for one. Learn if your dog is at risk for contracting the dog flu and how to protect your dog.
Canine influenza is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease that can be hard to differentiate between other canine upper respiratory diseases like kennel cough. Common symptoms include fever, coughing, lethargic, decreased appetite, and runny nose. Most cases of the dog flu are mild; however, young dogs, old dogs, and debilitated dogs are at risk for more severe signs. In fact, some dogs have died from the dog flu.
Is your dog at risk for the dog flu? Any dog that is not vaccinated with the bivalent vaccine is at risk for the canine influenza. Some dogs are more at risk than other dogs, so it is important to understand the risk factors so that you can protect your dog.
Risk factors for dog flu:
- Dogs that stay at daycare or boarding facilities
- Dogs that go to the groomer
- Dogs that go to dog parks
- Dogs that meet and greet other dogs on walks and public events
- Dogs that travel to other states
If your dog is at risk, don’t wait! It’s important to make sure that your dog is vaccinated with the flu vaccine that protects against both strains of the dog flu. Guthrie Pet Hospital has been vaccinated for canine influenza for the last year to try and prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease. We require all dogs boarding and grooming to be current on their canine influenza vaccinations. Don’t wait, vaccinate. Contact us today for your appointment.