UPDATE: Canine influenza kills two NC dogs
I wrote earlier today about canine influenza.
Here’s a story from the Charlotte Observer about two NC dogs that have died from the flu. One was from the Raleigh area and the other from the coast.
The Observer says no cases have been reported in the Charlotte area. The state’s Animal Welfare Section is monitoring veterinarians, kennels, doggie daycares, shelters and rescues for flu cases. Pet parents can get up-to-date reports here.
Here’s the previous post about the flu.
Be aware of symptoms and stay safe.
Think flu season is over? Not for dogs. This summer could be a dangerous influenza season for pups.
I wrote about the threat of dog flu last year. It was spreading toward Charlotte. Since then, it’s traveled even further south.
This week, officials confirmed the first case of canine influenza in Florida. This flu strain was initially diagnosed in the U.S. in 2015 when dogs at a Chicago doggie day care got sick. About 2,000 pups in Illinois ended up infected.
The flu spread. It went through the Midwest, south to Georgia, Alabama and Texas, and then on to California. More than 30 states reported cases. Then the rate of new cases started to slow and vets thought the outbreak was over.
Now there are seven new confirmed cases in Florida. More dogs in the state are being evaluated.
Here’s one of the big problems with this strain. A dog could have the virus but not be showing symptoms. Your pup could come in contact with an infected dog who doesn’t seem sick. The virus spreads through coughing, sneezing and contact with contaminated objects – like a dog toy, other object or a play surface. With summer weather here, dogs may come into contact more often with other dogs at dog parks, while traveling, during vacation visits with friends and relatives, and just being out for more walks. Some of these dogs could be infected.
Read this past post for more about dog flu symptoms, what to do and what to avoid.
There is a test for this strain of the canine influenza, which is called H3N2. Ask your vet about it. The virus is a kind of bird flu and it was first detected in parts of Asia a decade ago. The virus doesn’t affect humans.
Outbreak News Today says, “If dog owners suspect a case of dog flu, they should call their veterinarian prior to going to the clinic in order to decrease the chances of spreading the virus to other animals at the clinic. Many dogs have a fever, decreased appetite and lethargy during the first few days of illness. Most dogs recover at home without any complications. Some require hospitalization.”