Given the recent reports of the canine flu outbreak in the Chicago area, we wanted to put together a few simple tips for helping to prevent or detect if your dog has the virus.
Q: Where have cases been found so far?
A: There have been over 1,000 cases reported in the Chicago area and a few surrounding states. As of this writing, none have been reported in Pennsylvania
Q: How can I tell if my dog, or if other dogs, have the Dog Flu?
A: The best thing to look for, as with many diseases, is a change in regular behavior. The most common early signs are a hacking cough. Green discharge from the nose or eyes is another symptom. Untreated, these can develop into significant fevers or pneumonia. If you notice any of this, please consult a veterinarian
Q: How can I Help Stop My Dog From Getting Sick?
A: The virus is very contagious. The best thing to do is to avoid potentially exposing your dog to a dog who might be sick.
Q: Can people catch the disease?
A: No, people can not contract the disease from their dogs. They can, however, help spread it through contact with surfaces. For example, the virus can live on surfaces for 24-48 hours. If you pet a dog and then touch a counter top, it is possible to spread the contamination. Washing your hands and sanitizing is always a good idea in these cases.
Q: Has this happened before or is this unusual?
A: Dog Flu outbreaks occur relatively frequently. The fear with this one is that it’s a new strain that dog flu vaccinations may not prevent.
If you have any questions about the Dog Flu – please consult a veterinarian.
If you’d like to read more – please see this article – http://www.petage.com/canine-flu-outbreak-caused-by-new-strain/