We all know the symptoms of the influenza virus. Around the winter months, we’re always on the lookout for symptoms from friends and family. But this year, it looks like there’s another flu that we need to be watching out for: “Dog Flu.”
Most influenza viruses affect primarily humans. However, this year, dogs across the country are also coming down with influenza-like symptoms.
“Dog Flu” is a different strain than the virus that is impacting humans. The one impacting dogs can be just as dangerous and contagious—and the symptoms often get ignored.
Already this season, dog flu has shown up across the country. There have been cases in California, Washington, Pennsylvania, and even in Canada. According to reports, one animal clinic in San Francisco saw over 50 cases in just two weeks.
Dog flu is especially scary because of its extremely high mortality rate. If dogs are left untreated after they start showing symptoms, there is a 10% mortality rate.
This virus can be spread through barking, coughing, and sneezing. It can spread quickly through kennels, groomers, shelters, and daycares.
According to Dr. Daniel Brauer, it’s important to keep your dog safe. He shared, “If the pets are unvaccinated, you definitely don’t want to take them to daycare centers. Your pet just needs to sniff it and they will get it if they’re not vaccinated.”
The best ways to protect your dog are to keep them out of close contact with other dogs who might be sick. Disinfect their leashes, toys, and water bowls to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread. There is also a flu vaccine that may help build your dog’s resistance, but it’s not recommended for every dog.
Be sure to keep an eye on your pets to make sure that they don’t get sick. If they’re showing any bad symptoms, take them into a veterinarian to get checked.
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