Dog flu has surfaced in South Carolina and Charleston Animal Society is urging dog owners to watch for any signs of flu in their pets. Symptoms include:
- Coughing / Sneezing
- Low Energy
- Lack of appetite
“People should be in touch with their personal veterinarian on whether a flu shot is a good idea for their pet,” said Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Veterinary Care Lucy Fuller. “Situations like this really highlight why it’s important to have a veterinarian in your pet’s life.”
This year’s canine influenza virus is H3N2. The dog flu can make your dog feel sick for two weeks, but your pet remains contagious for four weeks. The dog flu vaccine is given in two shots, two weeks apart.
Canine influenza is extremely contagious. A dog’s cough can travel up to 20 feet and the virus can remain alive on human clothing for up to 24-hours. While the flu usually clears up in two weeks, in some cases it can develop into pneumonia, which is why you want to be in touch with your veterinarian as soon as you suspect something is wrong. Dog flu cannot be transmitted to humans.
Dogs who travel with their owners or hang out with other dogs should consider being immunized. The flu can spread rapidly, including at places like dog shows and dog parks. Some area groomers are now requiring that your dog receive the canine influenza vaccine before coming to their facilities.