Pet owners are being urged to watch their dogs for signs of the dog flu after the first case has been confirmed in South Carolina.
The University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine lists eight states that have recorded confirmed cases of canine influenza. Those states are Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, and Illinois.
“People should be in touch with their personal veterinarian on whether a flu shot is a good idea for their pet,” Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Veterinary Care Lucy Fuller said. “Situations like this really highlight why it’s important to have a veterinarian in your pet’s life.”
Symptoms to watch for include:
- Coughing and Sneezing
- Low Energy
- Lack of Appetite
This year’s canine influenza virus is H3N2, which can make a dog feel sick for two weeks. But the pet remains contagious for four weeks, Fuller said.
Canine influenza is extremely contagious, Fuller said. A dog’s cough can travel up to 20 feet and the virus can remain alive on human clothing for up to 24-hours.
While the flu usually clears up in two weeks, in some cases it can develop into pneumonia, which is why you want to be in touch with your veterinarian as soon as you suspect something is wrong, Fuller said.
Dog flu cannot be transmitted to humans.
The dog flu vaccine is given in two shots, two weeks apart.
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