H3N2, a New Strain of Canine Influenza, Can Be Deadly for Senior Dogs
The University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine is reporting more than 12 dogs in Florida have been infected with canine influenza in 2017. Just like the human flu, seniors are more likely to suffer fatal complications from the virus, so The Old Dog House is encouraging families with senior dogs to vaccinate their pets as soon as possible and explains more about the Florida dog flu.
The H3N2 strain of the flu is new to Florida. The outbreak in the Sunshine State stemmed from dog shows in Perry, Ga., and Deland, Fla., according to TIME Magazine. The disease is very contagious and spreads when dogs come into close contact with each other at places such as dog parks, boarding facilities or daycares. Dogs contract canine influenza by breathing after an infected dog barks or sneezes, drinking from a contaminated object like a water bowl or directly contacting an infected dog.
According to the University of Florida, symptoms of canine influenza include sneezing, discharge from the nose, frequent coughing, fever, reduced appetite and lethargy. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog may have the flu. Make sure to call your veterinarian first as they may have you use a special entrance to keep other dogs safe from the virus.
Like the human flu, seniors, babies and the ill are most likely to suffer serious complications from the dog flu. CBS News reports University of Florida scientists are urging dog owners to vaccinate their pets against the canine flu. Contact your veterinarian for more information about vaccinations for your dog.
The Old Dog House is Northeast Florida’s first nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to giving older and senior dogs a second chance at a new life. We rely solely on the generosity of the individuals in our community for assistance in furthering our mission to give older and senior dogs a second, sometimes third, chance at living out their lives in dignity. Click here to donate to The Old Dog House now.