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Posted on 05-23-2015

Dog Flu Update

According to Cornell University, the new strain of dog flu has spread to twelve states, including California.

While the H3N2 virus is thought to be rarely deadly, it can be particularly hazardous to puppies and geriatric dogs. Just like in humans, secondary infections like pneumonia are possible and can lead to serious health problems. Treatment may be necessary including fluids and antibiotics to treat complications. The virus has also been known to affect cats.  If your dog (or cat) is sick, give us a call and make an appointment for them to be examined. 

For a map showing distribution of reported cases as of May 8th, click here.

Symptoms of what experts are calling an epidemic

  • Cough
  • Runny Nose
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

So, what CAN you do to reduce the chances of exposure to your dog?

At Balboa Pet Hospital, we recommend that you keep your dog on a controlled leash, avoid taking your dog to places where they will have nose to nose contact with other dogs. It is unclear if the previous canine flu vaccines will be effective against this new strain.  If your dog becomes ill, tests are available to diagnose the illness.  Ask our veterinarians for more information.  It's especially important to keep your puppies, older dogs, and dogs with pre-existing conditions away from places where other dogs congregate.  Avoiding the dog park is not a bad idea, especially if their already not feeling well. Don't delay diagnosis and treatment.

A link to Cornell University article is here: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2015/04/new-virus-strain-causes-midwest-dog-flu-outbreak

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