The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine has confirmed more than one dozen cases of the H3N2 canine influenza virus, also known as dog flu. The dogs who tested positive for the H3N2 strain were present at May 2017 dog shows in Perry, Georgia, or Deland, Florida, or were exposed to dogs who were present at these shows, according to a press release.
This marks the first time H3N2 has been confirmed in Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said, though the virus has been circulating throughout the country since 2015.
All dogs being treated for the flu are in stable condition, officials stated. While there is no evidence that the virus infects humans, pet parents should be on high alert as it is highly contagious between dogs.
Symptoms of the dog flu can range from mild to severe, with signs including coughing, sneezing, fever, and runny nose, among others. Thankfully, the dog flu is rarely life-threatening, but it should be taken very seriously. If you suspect your dog has dog flu, call your veterinarian before taking your pet in for treatment.
Dogs who have been diagnosed with the H3N2 virus are treated with antibiotics and cough suppressants, as well as good nutrition, rest, and proper hydration. (In more severe cases, some dogs may have to be treated with oxygen therapy or injectable antibiotics, while they are closely monitored by their vet.)
If your dog has not received a canine flu vaccination, talk to your veterinarian about whether it is the right choice for your pet.
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