Combating the Spread of Canine Flu

Greenville veterinarian offers steps you can take to prevent your pup from getting sick

The widespread flu virus isn’t just affecting people.

Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is reporting an uptick in cases of canine influenza H3N2.

But, no need to panic.  There are steps you can take to prevent your pup from getting sick.

“Dogs that are in close contact with dogs that have influenza can catch it,” says Greenville Veterinarian Stacin Wyatt.

She says there are sure-fire signs that Fido has the flu.

“A lot of times they come in they have an ocular discharge, so a discharge from the eyes or the nose, they have a cough and they may or may not have a fever,” said Wyatt.

Dog flu is spread through barking and sneezing. While Wyatt hasn’t seen a lot of cases at Greenville’s Clay Hill Animal Clinic this year, she says dog owners can take precautions.

“Similar to human flu just wipe everything down with lysol or bleach. Also, not exposing your dogs, not taking them to dog parks and exposing them to dogs you don’t know.”

You can also get ahead of the virus with a vaccination. And that’s a good prevention method especially for dogs that go to daycare daily or those who are kenneled.

“The vaccine is recommended if they’re going to be exposed to a lot of dogs that may have influenza,” said Wyatt.

Meanwhile, if you’ve got the flu bug, Wyatt says it’s okay to snuggle up.

“Your human flu cannot affect your dog,” she said. “He may cuddle up with you and kinda make you feel better, but he’s not going to catch anything.”

Wyatt also says dogs with heart disease, as well as older dogs and young puppies are the most likely to catch canine flu.

Veterinarians recommend that dogs diagnosed with canine flu should be kept away from other dogs for at least 21 days to keep it from spreading.

Categories: South Alabama