UPDATE: Dog flu is spreading. Cases have been confirmed in Texas, Louisiana, and Kentucky as well as Florida and Georgia. Check with your vet to see if dogs in your area may be affected. AVMA.org has more information and tips for prevention and control.
Florida has confirmed 7 cases of dog flu – the first ever in the state.
The flu is highly contagious, and there have been dozens of confirmed cases in just the last few weeks, many in participants after dog shows in Georgia. As a result, many people are pulling their dogs from shows and keeping them at home instead of risking any illness.
The virus can be transmitted by a sneeze up to 20 feet, and live for 24 hours. If your dog is sneezing, coughing, running a fever, has a runny nose or is lethargic, be sure to get him to your vet right away. The flu isn’t usually fatal, but your pup won’t feel very well and it can advance to pneumonia if left untreated.
The flu won’t spread to humans, but may spread to cats, so you’ll want to keep a dog with flu away from your other pets, quarantined in a different room entirely. You can help protect your pup by keeping him home, away from places where other dogs may be. Your dog may miss a few trips to the dog park or groomer, but he will be much less likely to catch the flu, and that is always a good thing.
As always, check with your vet for the best methods of prevention and control.
h/t: The Miami Herald