Protect Your Dog Against Canine Influenza

Canine influenza virus, also known as the dog flu, so far this year has cropped up in 35 states, five more than last year. Initially confined to racetrack greyhounds, the disease has now spread to the point that all dog breeds are susceptible.

The dog flu virus (H3N8) is very closely related to the swine flu virus (H1N1) that infects people, but it does not appear to be contagious to people. It is, however, highly contagious between dogs, and mortality rates have been as high as 8%.

Diagnosing dog flu can be difficult. The symptoms – fever, lethargy, persistent cough, and runny nose – are the same as some other common respiratory diseases, including kennel cough. A test is needed to confirm a flu diagnosis.

If your pet gets the flu, don’t panic. The virus isn’t highly dangerous, but just as with people, dog flu can lead to secondary infections that could develop into life-threatening pneumonia.

A vaccine is available for the H3N2 virus. If your dog is in contact with other dogs – especially after visits to boarding kennels, dog parks, groomers, dog shows, or pet stores – he or she should be vaccinated.
Contact Willard Vet for more information.
For more than 20 years, Willard Veterinary Clinic has provided dedicated veterinary care for the communities of Quincy, Boston, Dorchester, Milton, Braintree, Weymouth, Canton, Randolph, Hingham, Abington, Hanover, and Rockland. Contact us to see why we’re different!

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