The H3N2 strain of the canine flu has made its way to North Carolina — and one of the dogs stricken with it belongs to a veterinarian, reports WFMY News 2.
This week, a dog belonging to Dr. Sandra McAvoy was diagnosed with this newer strain of the dog flu, which was first reported in April in the Midwest. Zalea now is recovering from pneumonia and eating via hand-feedings, according to the Greensboro, North Carolina-based news station.
Also in the South, the Atlanta, Georgia, area is seeing an increase in cases, with the University Of Georgia’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirming more than 80 cases in the city’s metro area as recent as Wednesday, WXIA-TV reports. The first case of dog flu in Atlanta was reported back in May.
H3N2 is a strain of dog flu that’s resistant to vaccines and antibiotics and, to date, has sickened more than 17,000 dogs since early spring.
McAvoy, who works at Abri Veterinary Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said she thinks it’s possible her dog Zalea got the flu from a dog she is fostering from the Forsyth County Humane Society. Two other dogs she’s seen also are showing respiratory disease symptoms, she added. They all came from Forsyth County Animal Control, according to WFMY.
“As the only open door shelter in Forsyth County, we’ve been anticipating seeing it as it’s become prevalent… ,” animal control director Tim Jennings told the news station. “We expect we’ll see it in the future.”
The ASPCA has dedicated a page to providing news and information on H3N2 and what pet owners should know about the possibly deadly disease.