We’ve been hearing about it on the news and now it has come to Iowa. The dog flu, also known as H3N2, has been reported in several states including Iowa. So what do we need to know about it and how concerned should we be?
First of all, there’s no need to panic. There have been other flu types that have made the rounds but we’ve gotten through them and we’ll get through this one, too. Dogs most at risk for serious complications are puppies and older dogs because their immune systems are weaker. Dogs most at risk for contracting the disease are ones that come in close contact with infected dogs. The best thing you can do, especially for puppies and older dogs, is to limit close exposure to other dogs. The flu is transmitted nose to nose.
The signs of the disease include fever, cough, nasal discharge, lethargy, and decreased appetite. If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms it’s best to consult a veterinarian. The dog flu is a viral infection so there is no cure for the flu itself, but vets can provide care for the symptoms and keep an eye on the overall health of the dog.
Summer is the time that people are out and about more and they often bring their dogs along with them. Just be aware of where you are taking your dog and what other dogs he’s coming in contact with. There’s no need to panic and leave your healthy dog at home; just know your surroundings and take necessary precautions. This flu has a very low mortality rate (2-3%) so with the proper care and precautions you can still have a healthy and happy summer with your four-legged buddy.