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Canine flu has Bay Area dog owners worried

Discussion in 'Health & Nutrition' started by Vicki, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    By Patrick May | pmay@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
    PUBLISHED: January 11, 2018 at 1:41 pm | UPDATED: January 12, 2018 at 8:36 am

    While we Bay Area humans deal with either suffering the symptoms of this nasty flu that has claimed 27 lives so far or worry about coming down with the damn thing, here’s something else flu-related to fret over:

    The dog flu.

    According to Dr. Kyle Frandle at the Los Gatos Dog & Cat Hospital, the dog flu floating around Silicon Valley this winter is serious.

    “In the last few days there have been confirmed cases of Canine Influenza H3N2 (dog flu) in our area,” he wrote in a note to his clients. “Canine Influenza is a highly contagious virus. We are taking this outbreak very seriously, as infected dogs are getting very ill.”

    Reached at his office on Thursday, Frandle said that while the symptoms are respiratory in nature and can vary from dog to dog, some infected animals show no symptoms, while others become severely ill. Here are notes from our interview with Frandle, edited for clarity and length:

    What’s going on?

    “In the last few days there have been confirmed cases of Canine Influenza H3N2, known as dog flu, in our area. Canine Influenza is a highly contagious virus.There are two variants of the virus – H3N8 and N3N2. They are host specific and they’re found all over the world.

    Where did they come from?

    “They were first recognized in greyhounds around 2003, and they’ve since been diagnosed in over 36 states. Experts feel dog flu is now endemic in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida and now here in California. There’s some controversy over where it originates from; some experts think it came from horse influenza and some think from avian influenza.

    “We used to think that we really didn’t have the flu here in California, but obviously, it’s the flu with humans – once it gets started it just spreads. About six days ago we started getting calls about dogs with the flu from kennels and boarding facilities; now many of them have shut down to limit the spread. In the meantime, we are vaccinating dogs as quickly as we can.”

    Can it spread to people or other animals?

    “It doesn’t spread to human and it doesn’t seem to cross over to different species. Cats can sometimes catch the virus from infected dogs and there is no flu vaccine for cats at this time.”

    What are the symptoms?

    “The symptoms are respiratory in nature and can vary from dog to dog. Some have no symptoms, while others become severely ill. Fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, runny nose, coughing and vomiting have been reported.

    Where can a dog get this flu?

    “Common areas of exposure would be parks, grooming salons, boarding facilities or doggie daycare. Unfortunately a dog may have the virus and not be showing symptoms but could still be spreading the virus.

    Have you been treating a lot of dogs recently?

    “We currently have a few patients at our hospital that are sick with the flu. These dogs spent time at daycare or boarding facilities locally over the holidays and are now quite ill. There is a vaccine for H3N2 and, at this point, we are highly recommending it for our patients.”

    What else can dog owners do to keep their pets safe?

    “We recommend not taking your dogs out in public, if possible, at this point as we see how this virus is spreading.”

    Anything else?


    “We are taking this outbreak very seriously, as infected dogs are getting very ill. If your dog is not vaccinated already for canine influenza, we strongly recommend calling the hospital at 408-354-6474 to discuss whether this vaccine is appropriate for your dog. We charge $38 for the vaccine and we come out to your car to administer it so that your dog won’t come into contact with other dogs at our hospital.

    “If your dog is already coughing, it’s too late for the vaccine. Please call your veterinarian if your dog is coughing. They may benefit from medication and supportive care. You will need to quarantine your dog from other canines for 4-5 weeks to prevent the spread of this flu.’



    https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/01/11/canine-flu-has-bay-area-dog-owners-worried/
     

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