As many of you have seen on the news there is a new strain of Canine Influenza (H3n2) in the Midwest, especially Chicago. Many dogs in that area have been sick and there have been several deaths.
Last week the first confirmed case of this new strain showed up in the Beach City area in a dog that had been transported from Chicago.
Summer is almost here and families will be traveling. Many dogs will travel with their owners, others may be staying in boarding facilities, or with friends.
Influenza can travel with the dogs into new states and into new areas.
What can you do to protect your pet?
- Vaccinations: There is a Canine Influenza vaccine. However it has not been shown to protect against the new strain found in the Chicago area (H3N2). Many veterinarians in the Midwest are recommending using this vaccines in the hope that it will impart some protection against the new strain of the influenza.
- If your dog is young, older, or immune compromised you may want to avoid where lots of dogs visit (dog parks).
- Be vigilant. If your dog shows signs of the flu (sneezing, coughing, inappetance, or lethargy) you may want to contact your veterinarian.
- If you work for or visit a shelter, pet store, or work with sheltered pets be sure and wash your hands after petting other dogs.
Remember; at this point don’t turn your life upside down. There is a single case in the Houston area. The virus may disappear. However it is more likely it will spread. If it does so we will keep you updated.