WHAT IS IT?
It’s a new strain of potentially deadly canine flu, and can also indirectly be carried by humans. Even people traveling without their pets can bring this back to their pets, and it can survive for up to 48 hours on inanimate objects like countertops, Up to 24 hours on clothes and up to 12 hours on skin.
Animal hospitals around the country are trying to get the word out and some are offering discounted first shots (it takes a series). Contact your local veterinarian to find out if they are participating.
It is a very contagious viral infection and is spread mostly by dogs coming together in groups. Any contact will infect 100% of the involved and 80 percent will show symptoms and 20 percent will carry the infection, according to a local veterinarian. Thankfully, mortality is low.
The H3N2 dog flu symptoms include coughing, sneezing, lack of appetite and high fever. It is different than “kennel cough” and the standard kennel cough vaccination does not prevent it.
Antibiotics and a veterinarian’s care can usually handle the diseases, but it’s recommended infected dogs go through an additional three weeks of quarantine.
Prevention is the key:
Veterinarians advise that you keep your dogs away from dog parks, or anywhere else there may be other dogs. Talk to your veterinarian before considering boarding your dog.
If you suspect that your dog may have it, don’t take him to the vet where there will be other pets. Call and make an appointment for a time when there aren’t any other pets present.