This year’s flu season has been bad, which means that everyone who hasn’t had a flu shot yet should get one. However, it’s not just people who need to worry about the flu. Dogs can get the flu too, and according to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, there has been an increase in the canine flu virus H3N2.
Be Wary of the Dog Flu
People with dogs should be careful about where they take them during flu season. Because the dog flu can easily spread from one dog to another through barks, coughs and sneezes, taking a pet to areas like dog parks, doggie daycares and kennels can increase the risk of exposure to the dog flu.
Dog flu is a serious respiratory illness, but there are medications that can be prescribed to help your dog recover. Rest and good nutrition will be beneficial as well. However, dog flu can sometimes be difficult to identify because the symptoms are so similar to kennel cough.
Some of the common signs of dog flu include a fever, green discharge from the eyes and nose, a cough that doesn’t go away, lethargy and a decrease in appetite. When dogs get the flu, they should be kept away from other dogs as well as animals in general, since the H3N2 virus can spread among all kinds of animals.
While some dog owners won’t want to keep their pets away from the dog park just because it’s flu season, they should be sure to keep their dogs at home if they exhibit any symptoms. Otherwise, there’s a risk that if your dog does have the dog flu, it will spread it to other dogs. Additionally, dogs should also be protected from humans who have the flu, since dogs can contract human strains of the flu.