At least 12 known dogs in Florida are sick with “dog flu,” but little is known about this illness. What does the average dog owner need to know?
So far, dogs in Florida have actually tested positive for a strain of dog flu virus officially known as H3N2, and numerous other dogs in central and north Florida are believed to have dog flu, according to a statement from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.
All the dogs that tested positive for H3N2 recently went to one of two dog shows in the area, or were around dogs that participated in the programs, the declaration said.
Although this is the very first time that this strain of dog influenza has actually appeared in Florida, it has been spreading in the United States since 2015.
Here are some crucial things to understand about dog flu.
What is dog flu?
Dog influenza, or canine influenza, is a breathing disease triggered by a stress of the flu virus that contaminates pet dogs, inning accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are 2 types of flu infections that can infect canines: the H3N8 virus, which was discovered in 2004, and the H3N2 virus, which was discovered in 2007, the CDC says. The H3N2 infection has been reported to infect felines in some cases.
Can people catch it?
So far, no cases of canine flu have been reported in individuals, and there’s no evidence that canine flu can spread out from canines to human beings, the CDC says. Nevertheless, there’s always a possibility that the infection might alter in a way that would allow it to contaminate people.
The CDC states it is keeping an eye on canine flu infections closely.
Where did pet dog influenza come from?
The H3N2 strain was discovered in South Korea in 2007. It is thought that the virus came from when a kind of bird influenza infection adapted, and became able to infect pet dogs, the CDC says.
Cases of H3N2 pet dog flu were confined to Asian countries until 2015, when the infection appeared in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest. At that time, the virus caused a large break out in the location, affecting more than 1,000 dogs.
The H3N8 infection is believed to have adjusted from a kind of influenza infection that infects horses. This “horse flu” virus was known to exist for years before it was detected in pets, the CDC says.
What symptoms does it trigger in dogs?
Dogs with dog flu might sneeze, cough and have a runny nose, according to the University of Florida. Dogs may also get a fever, have actually a decreased hunger and appear lethargic during the very first couple of days of the illness, the university said.
Most pets recover from the health problem within a couple of weeks, however about 20 percent establish pneumonia, which can be severe and need veterinary care, according to the University of Florida.
If you believe your pet dog has dog influenza, call your veterinarian to talk about whether your pet dog needs to have a diagnostic test for the virus.
How do family pets catch pet dog flu?
Dogs can capture canine flu from being around sick pets or from remaining in an area that’s polluted with the virus. When canines cough, they can spread the infection up to 20 feet, according to the University of Florida. The infection might stick around on surface areas, consisting of toys or individuals’s clothes, for approximately 24 Hr, indicating canines could become contaminated if they had contact with polluted items before the infection dies, the University of Florida says.
Dogs are most at risk of ending up being infected if they take part in occasions with other pets, or are housed with other canines, such as at boarding kennels, day care centers, shelters, veterinary clinics or grooming parlors. Pets that just remain at house and stroll around the community are at low danger for becoming infected, the University of Florida says.
What can family pet owners do to safeguard their dogs?
If there are verified reports of the infection in your location, be mindful about taking your pet to events or locations with other pets, the University of Florida advises. There is also a vaccine against H3N2, which makes infection with the virus less likely.
In addition, if your dog is diagnosed with dog flu, you ought to keep your animal far from other pets and cats for four weeks. Although dogs normally recuperate quicker than this, they can stay contagious for about a month, the University of Florida says.
Original post on Live Science.