The New Year brings unwelcome news of an upper respiratory virus that mutated from horses to dogs. It is more serious than canine “kennel coughâ€ (bordatella) and can actually kill dogs. It is now being reported in Massachusetts. Dogs usually have a deep, moist cough, nasal discharge, run a fever and stop eating. Many dogs seem to develop secondary bacterial pneumonia and it can cause bleeding into the respitory tract.
Dog flu is an upper respitory infection caused by the canine influenza virus (H3N8). This virus mutated from horses to dogs and originally was found in racing greyhounds in the south. It has since been seen sporadically throughout the states.
The reason it is of concern is that it causes more illness than kennel cough (bordetella) and can kill.
There is vaccine to prevent it and it is recommended that you talk to your dog’s veterinarian to decide if your dog is at risk due to its life style. You can also check www.doginfluenza.com for more information.