Dog Flu

posted: by: Novibac Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News"

What is the difference between H3N2 and H3N8?

Both H3N8 and H3N2 are influenza viruses that cause respiratory infections in dogs. H3N8 was first discovered in Florida in 2004 and is of equine influenza origin. Avian origin H3N2 influenza virus was found in China in 2006 and in Korea. While H3N8 is shed by infected dogs for 5 days, H3N2 can be shed intermittently for up to 24 days.

What clinical signs are seen with Dog Flu in dogs?

Clinical flu virus symptoms in dogs include coughing, fever, and lethargy. More severe signs, including pneumonia, can be seen in more severe cases. Necropsy reports from dogs with confirmed H3N2 infection revealed severe, acute, locally extensive necrohemorrhagic interstitial pneumonia with epithelial necrosis.

How infectious is this strain of Dog Flu?

According to clinical data studies (currently under peer review) at the University of Wisconsin, this new strain of Dog Flu is likely has a longer, up to 24 days, contagious period--making it more of a concern.

What do pet owners need to know about Dog Flu?

The virus spreads rapidly, especially at boarding facilities, groomers, doggy day cares, dog parks and other spots where dogs co-mingle.

The Dog Flu virus can be spread by direct contact with respiratory discharge from infected dogs, through the air via a cough or sneeze, and by contact with contaminated objects such as dog bowls and clothing, or by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.

Dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to the virus.

Clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease.

Contact your veterinarian if your dog has the following symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy/lack of energy

Treatment consists mainly of supportive care, such as fluids and medication to help a dog be more comfortable. With severe illness, hospitalization is necessary.