Deadly dog flu continues to devastate as 14 states and approximately 1,000 dogs have already become victims to this dangerous virus. Learn more about it here.
The deadly dog flu, or sometimes known as canine influenza (H3N2), is much like bird flu, which appeared in Asia sometime in the year 2007, and has the ability to infect dogs. Caused by a variety of influenza virus such as equine influenza virus H3N8, the deadly dog flu was first discovered in 2004. Back then, and before it arrived in Asia, it was noted that dogs have no natural immunity against this deadly disease and therefore the dog flu is rapidly and easily transmitted between individual dogs. Although the deadly dog flu has low mortality, it may be endemic in some dog populations of the United States and it has a high morbidity.
Late May 2015, it has been reported that this deadly dog flu has in fact hit 14 states across the United States and is showing no signs of slowing down. According to KPIX Pet Expert Dr. Jill Chase, the deadly dog flu is similar to human flu and it has the ability to spread through the air. This naturally means that your pet has increased chances of being victimized if they come across an infected dog at a park, kennel or anywhere else. The five symptoms you need to look out for are:
- Anorexia (not eating)
Dr. Chase concluded by saying, “Anytime there is a sign of illness, any change whatsoever, you should call the vet right away. Don’t wait three or four days.”
In April of 2015, the first case of the deadly dog flu was found in the United States and although it’s still unclear as to how the virus emerged, it is suspected that the outbreak first began in Illinois where an estimated 1,000 dogs have become dog flu victims. So far, the deadly virus has spread across 14 states including Alabama, Georgia, Texas and recently California. The 14 states that have been confirm infected by dog flu are: Illinois, Alabama, California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, Georgia, Ohio, and now Minnesota.
Although the dog flu is not contagious to humans, there’s increased possibility that it may infect cats and other pets. While most dogs show the symptoms mentioned above, some dogs will appear to look perfectly healthy, while carrying the deadly virus and infecting other dogs in the process. It is always best to give your pet a regular check up to keep them safe and also, if you’re living in one of these infected areas, keep your dogs on leash and away from other dogs. Don’t allow your dog to share toys, play surfaces and food with other possibly infected dogs. Although the deadly dog flu vaccine does exist, it’s effectiveness to combat the virus is still unproven. To be safe, visit your local vet and ask for a H3N2 test to get your dog tested for the virus.
For more information, check for dog flu updates from the Centers for Disease Control.
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