According to the College of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University, during the past month and a half, an outbreak of canine influenza has affected more than 100 dogs, out of which 72 were located in California.
The American Veterinary Medical Association states that the symptoms of dog influenza are similar to the ones of other infections your furry friend may catch and they include coughing, sneezing, a lethargic mood, running nose and eyes, but also a high fever. Furthermore, a flu outbreak that occurred in 2016, in Indiana, confirmed that dog flu can also affect cats.
When a dog is infected, the chances of it passing it on to others are almost 100 percent, with approximately 80 percent of the dogs exhibiting the dog influenza symptomatology. However, the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign gives assurance that the dog flu cannot affect people.
There are two known strains of dog influenza and there is no specific time of the year when they occur most. The first is connected to a strain of flu identified in horses and it was found in 2004, while the second was discovered in Chicago in 2015, when a considerable flu outbreak occurred. The second strain is known as H3N2, the same name as the virus which triggered numerous cases of human influenza this year.
Towards the end of 2016, a vaccine for preventing dog influenza was released on the market, which is known to protect against both strains of the virus. However, it is not mandatory to provide this vaccine for your dog, as it is only necessary if the dog tests positive for the virus. For this reason, if your friend has any of the flu symptoms previously mentioned, make sure to pay a visit to the veterinarian first, to make sure you’re treating him or her for the right infection.