Earlier this month, Florida pet owners struggled with a dog flu outbreak. Now, the disease has spread to other Southern states, such as Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana, and the inhabitants of the neighboring regions are concerned that their pets might be affected as well.
In addition to the dog flu outbreak in Florida, officials discovered two cases in Louisiana, and some other outbreaks in Tennessee and Texas. This put many other states on alert, and they even took precautions to keep the disease away.
Protective measures against dog flu
For instance, the yearly dog show held at Kennel Club of Texarkana, Arkansas was canceled to avoid the possibility of the virus spreading among the participants. Veterinarians don’t want to be taken by surprise by dog flu, since they are concerned by a new and more evolved strain of the disease. Several years ago, the H3N8 strain was circulating, but H3N2 is now the biggest threat.
In fact, there is not clear yet how many cases of dog flu have been recorded, but officials believe that thousands of both cats and dogs from over 30 states have contracted the virus. It can infect cats as well, as it is easily transmitted among all animals at shelters. So far, experts found no proof that humans can also get infected.
How to tell if your dog is suffering from dog flu
One safe way to keep your pet protected is to get it vaccinated. Therefore, veterinarians advise owners to take good care of their pets, especially when they’re young, and never miss a vet appointment. It is important for them to get all their vaccines.
Symptoms of dog flu include sneezing, runny nose, and coughing, which usually last for two weeks. To help owners spot it, veterinarians compared it to human flu. The disease is not deadly, but it might lead to complications. Puppies or old dogs are more sensitive, so take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice something different.
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