City canines beware: the dog flu has arrived in New York.
Veterinarians in NYC are warning their clients that the H3N2 viral strain has sickened at least three-dozen dogs in Brooklyn and a handful in Manhattan since April.
Approximately 500 West Coast pups have been affected by the dog flu this year, and it seems the virus has now spread east.
Dr. Maxim Lotovsky of the Jacobson Veterinary Clinic in Brooklyn recommends dog owners become familiar with the facts and symptoms of dog flu and seek immediate treatment if needed.
“The disease can be fatal if not treated appropriately,” Dr. Lotovsky told ABC 7 NY. “So if your dog seems lethargic, is starting to lose an appetite, and is starting to cough, definitely bring them in. The earlier you get them in, the better a chance we have to rescue your dog.”
Dog Flu Facts:
- Even dogs showing no sign of illness may carry the virus.
- The virus is extremely contagious especially between dogs that share toys or bowls.
- Unvaccinated dogs exposed to the dog flu are more likely to contract the disease.
- Humans cannot contract dog flu, but may help spread it. The virus can live on hands and clothes up to 24 hours.
Dog Flu Symptoms:
- Lack of Appetite
- Nasal Discharge
- Trouble Breathing
Dr. Lotovsky also suggests owners of at-risk dogs see their vet for a canine influenza vaccination.
“If your dog goes to groomers often, kennels, dog runs and you are mildly suspicious, come in and do a vaccine,” he said.
To learn more about recognizing the symptoms of dog flu, click here.
H/T to ABC 7 NY