The dog flu has hit hard in Northern California as veterinarians at United Veterinary Specialty & Emergency in San Jose have confirmed in the last two weeks three cases of dog flu and suspect 50 other dogs to have the flu in the area.
“I’m very concerned because now we are not going to be able to get this out of the area. It is here for good,” Dr. Stephanie LaPlume, an emergency veterinarian with United Veterinary Specialty & Emergency, told KRON4.com.
“The outbreak should die down as more and more dogs are exposed and vaccinated, but I think we are going to see large numbers of cases before that happens,” LaPlume added.
The veterinarian told KRON4.com that she has never seen an outbreak of dog flu in the 10 years she has worked in the South Bay, a subregion of the San Francisco Bay area. She fears that the flu will spread across the Bay Area.
H3N2 symptoms include include sneezing, nasal discharge and frequent coughing that can last for two weeks or more. Other symptoms include fever, decreased appetite and listlessness during the first few days of infection.
If your dog interacts with other dogs at dog parks, dog daycare or even at the groomer, LaPlume recommends that you vaccinate your dog against the flu, which can decrease the flu’s severity.
If you suspect your dog may have the flu, contact your veterinarian. Avoid bringing your dog to places where other dogs may frequent, such as dog parks and doggy day care facilities. A vaccination that covers both the H3N2 strain and the older H3N8 strain of canine flu is available.