Texarkana dog show canceled over dog flu outbreaks

Highly contagious dog flu reported in SC

Three states surrounding Arkansas have had cases of dog flu.

The canine flu is spread by coming into contact with infected dogs, things they've touched like water bowls, and interacting with people who have been around infected dogs.

The Charlotte Observer reported that two dogs in North Carolina died recently from dog flu.

The dog flu vaccine is given in two shots, two weeks apart. "So if someone takes a dog that's still sneezing out virus to a local pub and the dog sneezes on everyone else that's there, they take it home to their dog".

The best way to fight the disease would be to obtain a dog flu vaccine, although it may not offer full protection.

People can't get the dog flu, but it can be transmitted to cats, according to WJCL. Vaccination is crucial. Because of its infectious nature, the hope is that the strain does not spread through shelters and other dog communities. The illness exists in two strains H3N8 and H3N2; the first of which evolved from the equine strain of the virus and the latter from its avian variety.

Most dogs infected with the flu virus recover within days, she added, but there are cases in which the virus can prove fatal to the animals. She also encouraged dog owners to consider vaccinating their pets sooner than later.

When it comes to what to look out for, Doctor Duffy says there are a several symptoms.

Dogs diagnosed with the flu should be quarantined for at least four weeks.

"It's diffidently a more serious strain than what we've seen", said Dr. Courtney Pierce, with the Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt.

Veterinarians say the virus is extremely contagious, especially in places where dogs come into close contact with one another, such as dog parks and doggy day care. "Especially as a new pet owner".

About 80 percent of infected dogs show symptoms, which include high fever, loss of appetite, nasal discharge and lethargy.

The symptoms of an infection can range from mild, like a runny nose and sneezing, to more severe, like an upper respiratory infection.

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