Dog Flu: Georgia, Florida, SC Pet Owners Warned of Outbreak

The flu strain, H3N2, has sickened more than 2,000 dogs in 40 states since a year ago, Fox News reported.

Veterinarians are reporting an increase in flu cases in dogs appearing at exhibitions and competitions.

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine reported SC was one of eight states with confirmed cases of H3N2 canine influenza.

Veterinarians are warning pet owners about a highly contagious dog flu spreading through Georgia, Florida, and SC.

He said the canine flu spread easily and manifests symptoms similar to kennel cough, making it hard to identify.

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Dog flu can spread quickly and easily because dogs are typically friendly pets. "We don't want them to come into the hospital and infect the hospital". Officials are urging pet owners to have their dogs vaccinated as soon as possible. The two pups tested positive for H3N2, the same strain of the virus found in Florida and Georgia. The flu can last two weeks but the danger for pets is if it develops into pneumonia.

The virus apparently does not spread to humans and is rarely fatal for dogs.

It's important to note that the virus cannot be transmitted to humans, but cats can catch the extremely contagious virus from an infected dog. Those dogs then passed the flu to four retired dogs at home.

If your dog has symptoms, including a cough, lack of appetite or lethargy, visit your vet and keep the dog away from other animals.

An outbreak of canine flue has reached North Carolina and lead to the deaths of two dogs, one in Morehead City and one in Raleigh, according to the state Department of Agriculture. The University of Florida did not release the numbers of cases confirmed in each state.

  • Rogelio Lindsey