February 22, 2023 | 6:53 p.m.
Doggone it — canine flu cases are on the rise in parts of the country, including Philadelphia, northern Texas and Minneapolis, reports CBS News.
Canine flu is different from flu viruses that humans get. It is caused by two type A viruses: H3N8 and H3N2.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that no human infections with canine influenza have ever been reported — and the virus is generally not life-threatening in puppies.
Vets warn it’s still important to know what to do if your cuddly buddy catches the virus.
Symptoms to watch out for include a cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, runny eyes, and loss of appetite, according to the CDC. However, not all dogs show symptoms.
Some unlucky dogs may end up with pneumonia. According to the CDC, it should take about two to three weeks for your pup to heal.
Owners who observe dogs coughing, sneezing or exhibiting runny noses should seek medical attention for their pooch, Dr. Gary Richter, veterinarian and pet health expert on Rover’s Dog People Panel, advised in an interview with PopSugar.
All dogs are susceptible to the flu, regardless of breed or size. An infected dog can transmit the virus to its canine friends through direct contact; barking, coughing or sneezing; contaminated items, such as collars and leashes; and “by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs,” according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Richter says dogs will often be treated with antibiotics.
“Canine flu symptoms may initially look a lot like kennel cough, but there is a lab test that can confirm the diagnosis,” Richter told PopSugar.
“Dogs with influenza are frequently put on antibiotics to prevent and treat secondary bacterial infections,” Richter added. “Animals with severe symptoms may need to be hospitalized and given IV fluids while recovering.”
The CDC noted that vaccines against the H3N8 and H3N2 canine influenza viruses are available in the United States.