Highly Contagious Dog Flu Spreading Throughout Central Texas
There is a "decent sized outbreak" that is moving through the Killeen, Temple, and Waco, Texas communities. The H3N2 is a highly-contagious strain of the canine influenza. According to the CDC, Canine influenza (also known as dog flu) is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by specific type A influenza viruses known to infect our four legged besties.
What To Look Out For
Veterinarians in the area are seeing a dramatic increase in dogs experiencing upper respiratory system infection symptoms. Coughing, sneezing, lethargy, a poor appetite, or an increased respiratory rate are symptoms to watch for.
This strain of canine influenza is highly contagious to other dogs and can happen any time of the year. Vets at South Bosque Veterinary Clinic just outside of Waco say most of the recently reported cases of dogs having contracted the disease had been in social environments such as doggy daycares, boarding facilities, or grooming salons.
Is It Deadly?
Many dogs recover between 1 to 3 weeks. However, just like with people, many cases worsen and can turn into a life-threatening condition prevention, the clinic states. They encourage everyone to temporarily limit your dog's exposure to other dogs if you can. If your little buddy has recently been treated for a cough or has had a confirmed case of canine influenza, it can be transmittable up to 28 days after an infection.
Clinics are recommending that you please be kind and call to cancel any boarding, grooming, or daycare appointments you may have in order to keep other animals safe.
There is a vaccine that covers this strain of dog influenza, though it isn’t required by any safety mandates at this time. However, it is highly recommended if your fur babies spend a good amount of time at these types of facilities.
Stop The Spread
Much like COVID-19, infection is said to have lingering affects, and can happen again after vaccination. However, vaccinated dogs are reported to have much milder symptoms.
There have been no human infections related to canine influenza at this time. Contact your local vet with any questions or concerns, or to inquire about the vaccine for your dog.