Does your dog have it? ‘Dog flu’ cases confirmed in Florida

Seven cases of dog flu have been confirmed in Florida, UF officials said Tuesday.

 

The first seven cases  of a highly contagious virus known as “dog flu” have been confirmed in Florida, and test results from six more dogs are pending, the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Tuesday afternoon.


All dogs being treated are in stable condition.

The H3N2 canine influenza  virus has already infected thousands of dogs in more than 30 states, and also infects cats. There is no evidence that H3N2 infects people.

The dogs being treated reportedly participated in dog shows in Deland, or in Perry, Ga., or live in the same household as dogs who competed in those

 The virus causes a respiratory infection. Common symptoms include sneezing,  nasal discharge, and frequent coughing that can last for two weeks or more.
Many dogs have a fever, decreased appetite and lethargy during the first few days of the illness, UF officials said. Some dogs are affected more seriously and develop pneumonia that requires hospital care.
While H3N2 has been circulating throughout the country since 2015, this is the first time it has been confirmed in Florida. This is a highly contagious virus. Fortunately, the mortality rate is low. Dog owners can have their veterinarians vaccinate their dogs against canine influenza viruses.

If dog owners suspect a case of dog flu, they should call their veterinarian prior to going to the clinic in order to decrease the chances of spreading the virus to other animals at the clinic. Many dogs have a fever, decreased appetite and lethargy during the first few days of illness. Most dogs recover at home without any complications. Some require hospitalization.

More information on canine influenza can be found here: http://hospitals.vetmed.ufl.edu/canine-influenza/

 

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