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The Canine Influenza Scare

Apr 17, 2015

Sick pup

Our dogs are family members and we want to do the best that we can to keep them happy and healthy. There is a lot of buzz going around about canine influenza . . . causing a lot of concern.

I believe that knowledge is power and helps us to make smart decisions regarding risk, exposure, and the health of our most precious pups.

Here is the scoop . . .


■ As of April 17, there are no confirmed cases in Minnesota. It appears that the virus initially appeared in the US in Chicago. There are cases around the Midwest including Illinois, Ohio, Indiana & Wisconsin. The strain is confirmed as H3N2, which is believed to have come from Asia.


■ Symptoms include a cough, runny nose and fever. In most cases it is not dangerous or life threatening.


■ The flu is spread similar to human flu . . . as it is airborne. It can also be spread by coming in contact with contaminated surfaces. Dogs that are symptomatic should be kept away from other dogs to avoid the spread.


■ Canine Influenza is treated mostly through supportive care. As a virus, it needs to run its course; but medication to make your dog comfortable, and fluids can help. In more severe cases, or for immunocompromised dogs, antibiotics can be given to help prevent a secondary bacterial infection.