Canine flu virus spreads in the United States with outbreaks in dogs
It’s already been a “ruff” flu season, in more ways than one. Humans across the United States have faced a sharp increase in flu cases. This is after Covid-19 precautions over the past two autumns and winters seemingly put flu seasons on hold. And now those with paws, namely dogs, are also suffering from flu outbreaks, especially canine flu. Veterinarians have reported outbreaks of such diseases in various parts of the United States such as Texas and California, according to the following KRON news clip:
Yeah, it’s a world of dogs infected by dogs or at least a country where many dogs pass on a highly contagious H3N2 strain of the canine influenza virus (CIV). If you are human, this CIV strain is very unlikely to infect you and make you sick. However, if you happen to have a tail, a strong urge to sniff other dogs’ butts, and a tendency to chase after sticks when someone throws them, catching this CIV strain can leave you feeling like a sick puppy or a sick adult dog, depending on your age. If you are unsure whether or not you are a dog, consult your doctor or perhaps your veterinarian as soon as possible. It will be important to know for evaluating getting sick from canine flu and for other aspects of your life.
CIVs are similar to human influenza viruses in many ways. A dog with canine flu may end up transmitting the virus to others through direct contact, contaminating surfaces with the virus, or dispersing virus-laden respiratory droplets into the air by coughing, barking, or singing. Since dogs don’t tend to wear face masks or cough into their elbows, a single dog in a kennel or dog daycare can quickly infect many other dogs. Since canine flu may not be as common as human flu, and many dogs may not be vaccinated against CIV, many dogs may be very susceptible to catching the virus. Like the human flu, you don’t have to have symptoms to be contagious.
According to the American Veterinary Association, about 20% of dogs with canine flu have no symptoms. The exact number is unclear because dogs don’t tend to say “man, I don’t feel good”. Symptoms tend to appear two to four days after the initial infection. Common symptoms include fever, persistent cough, including so-called “kennel cough”, thick runny nose, runny eyes, and loss of appetite. Canine flu can also tire you out if you are a dog. Or maybe dogs can use the term human fatigue for lethargy. However, most dogs recover completely from these symptoms in about two to three weeks. There is, however, a risk of infections progressing to even more serious illnesses such as pneumonia, especially when secondary bacterial infections occur. Canine flu can lead to death, but this occurs in less than 10% of cases.
Why is canine flu on the rise? Well, the dogs could blame the humans. After all, humans are responsible for many global problems such as pollution and Dancing with the stars. It’s not like more and more dogs have recently decided to go to kennels and dog daycares on their own. This has been the result of more and more people traveling and returning to in-person work in 2022. More and more dogs are traveling too, but not because they fear losing their frequent flyer mileage or trying to demand a “journey of revenge”. about who knows who. No, human dog owners are most likely to travel more this year than the previous two years. And where their human owners go, dogs tend to go. Because why wouldn’t a dog want to go through airport security.
So how do you avoid canine flu if you’re really a dog? Well, you can stay away from other dogs who might be infected. Any dog infected with CIV should remain isolated for the duration of the illness. But you know how good dogs are at declaring they have the canine flu and keeping themselves isolated. You can also get vaccinated against the H3N8 and H3N2 strains of CIV if you are a dog. This will be especially important if you are a dog that frequents dog parks, kennels, dog raves, local Dogbucks, or any other dog gathering place. The vaccine is not 100% effective in preventing canine flu, so it will be important to be careful around other dogs. Don’t just sniff another dog’s butt. But the vaccine can reduce your risk of catching the virus, the actual “fur,” whatever anti-vaccination nonsense you may have heard on Tailbook, Barker, or whatever social media platform dogs tend to. use.
Again, if you’re human, don’t worry about catching the canine flu yourself. It is true that this H3N2 CIV strain currently in circulation was once intended for birds, but over time it has acquired the ability to infect dogs. However, there is no evidence that this particular virus has mutated to the point that it can “paws-ably” infect humans. With current outbreaks of Covid-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections and many people avoiding wearing face masks like dogs avoid chili peppers, humans already have many other respiratory viruses that hunt them down this holiday season.