Warning Issued To Pet Owners Over New Outbreak Of Highly Contagious 'Dog Flu'


Canine influenza,otherwise known as 'dog flu' first reached the states in 2015 when it was reported in Chicago. The disease has since had sporadic and regular outbreaks over the country.The virus has been reported in at least 36 states, and theoutbreak in 2015 hit 30. The illness exists in two strainsH3N8 and H3N2; the first of which evolved from the equine strain of the virusand the latter from its avian variety.


Source: Paws Chicago

Six new cases of the disease were confirmed by the University of Florida in late May, and while this number may seem small, thehighly contagious virus is known to spread quickly. Two new cases have also been reported in South Carolina.While this flu does not affect humans, it is passed on similarly to the human strain, through direct contact, coughing, sneezing and dissimilarly to humans, barking. The virus can remainactive and contagious for up to 48 hours after it leaves the body and rests on a surface.Therefore, in areas where cases of canine influenza have been confirmed the advice issued to dog owners is to:

  • be extra vigilant when taking your dog out on walks
  • avoid 'doggy day care centers' where toys are passed around and shared
  • limit close encounters between  your dog and other unknown dogs

Source: Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

Vaccinations are available for this disease and were first introduced in 2009 and are now available at most veterinary clinics. If you are worried about your dog's wellbeing it is always best to consult your veterinarian as to whether the vaccine would be necessary and beneficiary.Canine influenza incites a respiratory response and so the most common and recognizable symptoms are:

  • a runny nose
  • coughing
  • fever
  • sneezing
  • lack of appetite
  • lethargy

Source: Wise Geek

If you suspect that your dog has come into contact with the virus, veterinarians advise alerting the clinic prior to your arrival so that they can put precautions in place to stop the disease spreading.Most dog will recover from this disease on their own and very few require hospitalization, but the best course of action is always to consult a medical professional if in doubt.

* * *

At Holidog, we aim to improve the lives of your furry friends. Enjoy your holidays with peace of mind, knowing your pet is in great hands (find a petsitter near you) and spoil them with our monthly subscription box filled with yummy treats and toys (get your free box here). You can count on us!