There is a growing concern among pet owners about a quickly spreading strain of dog flu that has already sickened hundreds of dogs and killed 8. So far the flu virus has been most active in the Midwest after first being detected in Chicago, but new cases have been confirmed in Houston, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio. Now there is concern in the Atlanta area, with the possibility of a new case popping up near the city, which has yet to be confirmed as the results are pending.
The dog flu virus spreads from nose-to-nose contact between an infected dog and another. It has the potential to rapidly spread because of this close proximity bodily contact and is now considered an epidemic. However, dog owner’s are urged not to panic.
There are easy ways to monitor and safeguard your pet’s health. First, keep puppies and other immune compromised dogs, like sick one or those of advanced age, away from other dogs. Second, if you suspect that your dog is infected with the flu make sure to contact your veterinarian immediately. It is most contagious within the first 4 days of being infected so the earlier it is caught the less it will spread. Finally, humans cannot contract the dog flu but they can spread it. Make sure to wash and disinfect your hands after petting any animals and look out for any warning signs or symptoms in the dogs you interact with.