H3N2 Spreads among dogs, veterinarians send across warning alerts of dog flu
The veterinarians warned that the canine influenza H3N2 or dog flu is spreading across United States at such rates that any dog can be at risk. Veterinarians have asked the pet owners to be cautious about the epidemic. This is a highly contagious flu and the media reports have revealed that the flu has spread across Austin, Texas and is spreading rapidly to the neighbouring places. Veterinarians everywhere are on alert with the possible spreading of this virus.
1 Dog flu virus
The H3N2 or dog flu has already struck around 2000 dogs across 40 states so far. The virus was initially found in April 2015 in Chicago which had infected around thousand dogs. The virus spreads from one dog to the other through mere contact, making the spread faster and wider especially among the local and street dogs. Once a community is hit with dog flu dog flu, then there can be a high risk of continuous transmission, experts said.
Experts spoke about the potential of this virus to spread like a wild fire, and once it spreads across communities, it will be difficult to control. Especially if this spreads through kennels or shelter homes, the situation can get really worse. The strain will be easily transmitted in these places where many dogs are kept.
2 The History Of H3N2
The source and cause of the virus still remain unknown to the experts. However, a virus that affected Asia a few years ago seem to be similar to H3N2.
Reports say that two dogs were diagnosed H3N2 positive on December last year after which many dogs became ill. But the situation was under control as immediate response came from the side of the government who quickly isolated dogs in kennels and shelter homes, followed by disinfecting the surroundings, and the dogs were given instant treatment.
3 Look For Signs And Symptoms
The major visible symptoms are runny nose, cough, appetite loss, high fever, weakness, laziness, nasal discharges and so on. These are the major symptoms that veterinarians have asked to keep a check on. Continuous cough that persists for more than ten days, and does not reduce even after giving cough syrups and medicines can be a genuine symptom for H3N2 virus infection. The most obvious symptom would be severe cough coupled with high fever.
Dr. Christi Belew, who practices at Union Hill Animal Hospital, says, “The big problem is we don’t know where it’s going to hit next. We don’t know when it’s going to hit. You can actually see signs of a cold. So they can have a cough, a runny nose.”
To be on the safer side, check for these signs of dog flu and take your dogs to the veterinarians if your pet exhibits any of the mentioned symptoms. As part of preventive measure, boost the immunity of the dog by giving good food and fluids. The disease once affected, takes weeks to completely recover. However canine influenza can be controlled by preventing, and also being alert about the symptoms. Make sure to provide immediate treatment to the dog if it is diagnosed with the flu.