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Dog Flu: 10 Things Drivers With Furry Copilots Need To Know


Canine influenza — or dog flu — has been found in dogs for the past several years, but a new strain of the flu has sickened over 2000 dogs in the past year alone. Here are the facts you need to know about this highly contagious canine disease.

  • The current strain of dog flu that has authorities worried is the H3N2 strain, which was first discovered in Chicago in 2015. This very contagious version of dog flu has been confirmed in 25 states.
  • The disease can be fatal in some cases. Researchers believe that less than 10% of dogs who are infected with the H3N2 strain of dog flu will die from the illness. Older dogs are at a higher risk of death from dog flu.
  • Because the disease is so new, almost all dogs are susceptible. Around 80% of dogs who are exposed to the illness become sick. Most dogs get better in 2 to 3 weeks.
  • The most common symptoms are cough, runny nose, or fever. If you dog is showing any of these symptoms, make sure to get your pet checked out as soon as possible. 
  • Some dogs with milder cases of dog flu may show no symptoms.
  • You can vaccinate your dog for the older strain of H3N8 dog flu, but researchers aren’t sure if that vaccine will protect your dog from the H3N2 strain.
  • The disease spreads from dog to dog, so use caution when allowing your dog to play with other dogs at a truck stop or rest area, especially if that dog seems to be showing upper respiratory symptoms.
  • Avoid boarding your dog or using doggy daycare services if at all possible. 
  • To avoid infecting your dog, wash your hands if you touch someone else’s dog.
  • Make sure to wash your dog’s bedding, toys, and food and water bowls regularly.

The Examiner
Consumer Affairs
American Veterinary Medical Association


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