It isn’t quite slamming every single state in the US as of yet, but vets everywhere are warning humans of the dangers presented by a strain of the dog flu that seems to be making its way everywhere. Some states, like Colorado, haven’t seen the outbreak yet. However animal health officials are prepping for the worst.
The strain that everyone is talking about can start off as seemingly nothing more than a doggy cold, or kennel cough. However this strain of the dog flu is highly contagious to other dogs, and spreads very, very quickly.
This strain is called H3N2. It was first documented in Chicago very recently, and affected about 1000 dogs there. The strain has moved more quickly than expected, and faster than just about any other on record.
There are now 40 states with confirmed cases of H3N2. Even as far away as the state of Washington new cases of it are being confirmed every day. Veterinarians are doing what they can to get the word out about what is going on, but as people with dogs in our families, we need to work together to make sure everyone knows what is going on, and what to do to prevent their dogs getting sick.
Many vet clinics and animal hospitals are offering doggy flu shots, and there are many places available to do them at low or no cost. If your dog does contract H3N2, the best thing you can do is get the dog checked out to ensure there aren’t other problems that could be made worse by the virus. Then it will have to run its course, just like in humans. However, if a mass outbreak hits one area, vets are worried that supplies may run low.
The American Veterinary Medical Association has some great information on canine influenza. On their website, they have three great pieces of information you can use to protect you and your dog, and what to do if your dog does get sick. The first one is a general information piece on canine influenza (CI), and you can get to it by clicking here. The second one is a “Frequently Asked Questions” section, and you can view that by clicking here. The third piece is a human’s guide to CI, and that can be viewed here.