Protect Your Pup: What You Need to Know about Dog Flu
Dog flu—canine influenza--is a respiratory illness caused by a strain of one of two flu viruses that infect dogs (and sometimes cats). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog flu has been spreading in the United States since 2015, and at least a dozen dogs in Florida have now tested positive for canine influenza in a recent outbreak.
Two known flu viruses can infect dogs—H3N8, which was discovered in 2004, and H3N2, which was discovered in South Korea in 2007 and is responsible for the current outbreak of dog flu in Florida. The infections are believed to be related to recent dog shows in the area.
Symptoms of dog flu include sneezing, runny nose, coughing, fever, lethargy, and appetite loss. In severe cases, pneumonia can develop. The virus spreads through contact with infected dogs or contaminated toys, bedding, etc. There is no evidence that the virus can spread from dogs to people.