Could Your Dog Get the Flu?

Dr. Justin Dahl with Happy Tails Animal Hospital Explains How You Can Prevent Your Pet from Canine Influenza

SUPERIOR, Wisc. – Every year it’s estimated nearly 80 percent of dogs are exposed to canine influenza will develop the disease.

However, local veterinarians say it can be less deadly than the human flu, with a mortality rate of less than ten percent.

After all, it seems like every day we hear of more people being diagnosed with the flu.

“Last year we were on pins and needles because that’s very close by us,” said Dr. Justin Dahl with Happy Tails Animal Hospital in Superior.

In the world of veterinary practice, Twin Ports physicians have lucked out over the past few years.

“Canine influenza is similar to like it is in people,” said Dahl. “The issue we face is that the virus can mutate like it does in people.”

Dahl says every now and then he feels the need to educate clients as canine influenza can be deadly.

He says the disease happens more often in animals that travel or take part in dog shows.

“We do see a lot of dogs who travel often,” said Dahl.

Much like the human disease, there are two common strains of canine influenza. Vaccinations for H3N8 and H3N2 are available.

“They’re exposed to lots of other dogs and then they come back and three or four days later they’re sniffling or they’ve got a cough, fever, rundown,” said Dahl.

Dahl says kennel cough can also present similar symptoms as the flu, however the animal should always be treated for both diseases.

Dahl says any animal can receive the canine influenza vaccine for roughly $30 dollars.

Physicians say it’s also possible for your animal to catch and transmit strep throat.

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