If you have had the flu recently, you know it is miserable – headaches, coughing, sneezing, nausea and a high fever. Although the symptoms for a dog are slightly different, did you know your dog can get what is known as “canine influenza virus” or “dog flu”? It can be equally as debilitating for dogs!
What is Canine Flu?
Canine flu was first identified at a Florida racetrack in 2003, but the main strain identified now was brought to the United States by a single dog from Korea in 2015 (via Chicago). The two strains that are prominent are H3N2 (originally from horses) and H3N2 [originally from birds). In just a year the virus has spread to 26 states and 820 dogs. According to the Center for Disease Control, dog flu can be spread “by direct contact with aerosolized respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing) from infected dogs, by uninfected dogs coming into contact with contaminated objects, and by moving contaminated objects or materials between infected and uninfected dogs.”