The FL Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports cases of canine influenza (CIV, H3N2) have now been identified in Volusia County, FL. In May, several dogs which were exposed in Deland, FL and needed to be hospitalized. This is the same virus which has infected over 1000 dogs in the Chicago are in 2015.
Canine influenza is a highly contagious dog flu to which dogs have no natural immunity but vaccines are available to prevent the flu. The CDC says symptoms include coughing, nasal discharge, fever & sneezing. Dogs may be lethargic. Thus far it has not been shown to be able to spread to humans, but can spread between dogs and cats. A case of untreated influenza can lead to pneumonia and need hospitalization.
The virus can live up to 24 hours, therefore your dog can pick it up simply by visiting exposed areas.
If your dog regularly visits dog parks, the beach, groomers, kennels, doggie daycare or your dog sitter is taking care of more than 1 dog simultaneously, you should seriously consider vaccinating for influenza immediately.
Call 561-746-7496 to check if your pet has been vaccinated for canine influenza in the past 12 months. If not, make an appointment. Watch your dog carefully, if they show any symptoms or have been around dogs which have symptoms call North County Animal Hospital. Dr Sinko suggests dogs be vaccinated as soon as possible.