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Canine Flu Viruses
There has been a lot of talk in our local news about a strain of contagious canine flu virus called H3N2, there is also another canine strain called H3N8. Canine flu virus has been getting national attention since the summer of 2015, but actually was identified as far back as 2004. HLSPCA adopted a flu inoculation policy in December of 2015 with news that H3N2 cases have been identified in the Round Rock area.
We have a selection of links at the end of this article with more detailed information about both strains of these viruses. Whatever you personally decide to do for you and your pet, our articles here are intended here for overview purposes only. Inoculation is a two step process: the initial vaccination followed up with a booster shot within one month of original shot.
HLSPCA recommends you consult with a licensed veterinarian to plan the best course of action for your pet.
What causes the virus?
Can humans get it?
How did both the H3N2 and H3N8 start?
What are the symptoms?
How is dog flu treated?
Is dog flu fatal?
Two canine flu virus strains: 1) H3N8 and 2) H3N2 cause dog flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease only affects animals to date.
Experts say they have found no evidence of transmission from dogs to people.
H3N2. The most recent strain, the H3N2, afflicting the U.S., is an avian flu virus that is different from its human counterpart. In addition to dogs, it affects cats, and was first reported in the United States in April 2015. Before then, it was mostly limited to countries such as China and Thailand. The U.S. outbreak is a result of a virus closely associated with the H3N2 strain, according to Cornell University. The revelation spurred concerns because the strain, which is mostly found in Asia, had not been detected in North America until April 2015.
H3N8. The second one, the H3N8 strain, originated in horses before it crossed over to dogs, and the first U.S. case of the virus in pups was reported in 2004. "Scientists believe this virus jumped species (from horses to dogs) and has adapted to cause illness in dogs and spread among dogs, especially those housed in kennels and shelters," according to the CDC.
Signs of dog flu are similar to the strains of flu that affect humans. The animals cough, get a runny nose, are lethargic, lose appetite and have a fever. Dogs with severe cases can develop high fevers, around 104 ºF to 106ºF, and may be at risk of contracting pneumonia, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Veterinarians can test for the flu, but there is no specific treatment because canine influenza is a viral disease. Still, dogs can get supportive care to boost immunity. If a secondary bacterial infection is diagnosed, a veterinarian can prescribe antibiotics. Be advised, medical treatment can come at a significant cost.
Usually not, only a small percentage of dogs die. Dogs can get severely sick with pneumonia as a result of the illness. However, in some cases, there are no symptoms at all, according to the CDC.
Copyright@2019 Highland Lakes SPCA P.O. Box 1275 Marble Falls, Texas 78654 830-693-0569 | To rescue, rehabilitate and secure loving and healthy forever homes for homeless dogs.