The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services warns of the first outbreak of dog flu in Florida. At the moment, the state is struggling with a highly infectious strain of the disease, which affected more than ten dogs since last week.
All dogs are now in stable condition
This disease appeared for the first time in the United States in 2015, but it has only made isolated victims so far. Since last week, veterinarians from Florida have treated seven dogs and are waiting to receive the results for another six. All animals are now in a stable condition, but some of them needed hospitalization.
This strain of canine flu is caused by the H3N2 canine influenza virus. It generally affects dogs and it cannot be transmitted to humans. However, it sometimes may be transmitted to cats. The virus is not deadly if treated, but it might cause complications, such as pneumonia, if the animal does not receive the necessary treatment.
How to protect your pet from dog flu
However, pet owners should be extremely careful, as the virus if highly contagious. Most dogs have not developed natural immunity to this disease, so they are very likely to contract it from another infected animal. Dogs can even contract the virus from a place visited by a sick animal, as the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.
Veterinarians have now started recommending vaccines for both cats and dogs. If you are about to go on a journey with your pet, then you should go and vaccinate him, as traveling pets are in more danger of contracting dog flu.
The dog flu virus is transmitted via sneezing and coughing, and it can travel even for 20 feet from one dog to another. Most outbreaks start from places where the animals stay close together, such as grooming salons. Symptoms include coughing which can persist for up to three weeks, sneezing, fever, and runny nose.
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