Canine Influenza Outbreak in Chicago has been breaking news on the radio and TV. There were confirmed deaths of canine influenza in Chicago. The neighboring suburbs (where we are) were also placed on threat alert. As a dog parent of a senior dog, I am very concerned.
What is Canine Influenza (also known as H3N8 Dog Flu)?
Canine Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection, or what is commonly referred to as kennel cough.
This virus is not contagious to humans or cats but dogs of any age, sex or breed are susceptible to this infection.
How do dogs contract Canine Influenza?
Dogs tend to contract the canine influenza in places where they are in close contact with many dogs, like doggy day car, dog parks and boarding kennels.
Also, according to the news, pet parents need to be additionally cautious when going to pet events, pet stores and at a vet office.
Symptoms of Canine Influenza
Dogs that have been exposed to the canine influenza virus become infected and develop a flu-like illness. Intense coughing, sneezing, green nasal discharge, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy are the most common symptoms. Since canine influenza is contagious, an infected dog needs to be isolated until the virus run its course (for about two weeks).
The good news is canine influenza is treatable. If your dog becomes sick, immediately take your dog to the vet. If properly treated, an infected dog will fully recover. In worst cases, some dogs develop pneumonia and require more intensive vet care. The other good news is that canine influenza virus does not cause any permanent infection.
As a pet parent, make sure to educate yourself about this virus and consult your vet.
Be a proactive pet parent, for the safety of your dog’s health.
This is the 2nd canine influenza outbreak in Chicago and neighboring suburbs. It’s noted as the worst. The media has suggested to all dog owners to avoid playing/socializing with other dogs.
I don’t take Sugar to a doggy day care or crowded/off-leash dog parks. I will definitely put a hold on taking her to a pet store.
Has your dog experienced canine influenza?
4/6 Update: Outbreak of Chicago Canine Influenza is now being called an “epidemic”. Five dogs have died and over a thousand are sick; and the number of sick dogs continues to grow. Dog owners are asked to stay aways from dog parks (socializing from other dogs), not boarding their dogs and considering vaccinating healthy dogs.
Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center created a helpful infographic illustrating Respiratory Illness Warning
Related Post: Do you know how to take your dog’s temperature?