What You Need To Know About The Dog Flu Outbreak

Thousands of dogs in the Midwest have been affected by a new strain of dog flu. According to the Associated Press, experts at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine say the H3N2 dog flu virus likely came from live bird markets in Asia, specifically in South Korea, China and Thailand. The virus was first found in Chicago and is now spreading throughout the Midwest in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.  Although they aren’t always obvious, symptoms include cough, runny nose and fever. Some dogs have even experienced pneumonia, while six dogs have died in the Chicago-area.

Can My Dog Catch The Flu

Many experts are reporting that the virus was able to spread easily due to the high-number of dogs in day care and kennels, while Chicagoans are traveling or at work. “We saw many families that week after Easter,” Dr. Ken Goldrick, a veterinarian at Family Pet Animal Hospital in Chicago said. “They’d say, ‘We boarded him for the weekend while we went to visit family, and now he’s coughing.'”

Many dog owners fear that the virus could spread to other parts of the country. “The world is a very small place, and viruses easily travel from one part of the world to another,” said Dr. Amy Glaser of Cornell. “We can expect it to happen more frequently.”

What Can You Do To Protect Your Dog From The Flue

First, get your dog vaccinated. It cost about $30 at your veterinarian’s office and could be a lifesaver — although, it’s important to note that the available vaccination may not be effective for the new strain. Also, try keeping your dog away from other dogs. This includes limited time at the dog park. If you do need to visit the vet for an unrelated issue, ask if your dog can be examined outside — extreme, but could become necessary. You should also wash your clothes and hands after touching any dog. While it’s unlikely that the virus can spread to people, your hands and clothes can very well make your dog sick if you come in contact with an infected pup.  Finally, as always, if you noticed any respiratory symptoms in your dog, do not hesitate to bring him or her to the vet for an examination.

Want to learn more about keeping your dog healthy? Read the articles below!

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