Dogs in New York City are getting hit with a case of the sniffles, runny nose and fever – and it isn’t looking good for our four-legged friends.
A very contagious strain of canine influenza has broken out in in Brooklyn.
“There were a lot of cases this year, close to 500 in California and Nevada already, so it was just a matter of time before it got here,” Dr. Yasmine Mortsakis, who runs New York Veterinary Practice, told Fox 5.
Because it a fairly new virus, expect more dogs to get sick. “[T]here’s no natural immunity,” Mortsakis added.
And with it being summer, the airborne virus can spread from one dog to another fairly quickly. Dogs are likely to pick up the flu during walks, at dog daycare, kennels, groomers, in the park and any other places where interaction with pooches are likely to occur.
Besides dogs getting it directly from other pups, the flu can also be transmitted through objects, like water bowls. Humans can also spread the virus (no, we can’t get it) to other canines. Indeed, the flu can stay on human hands for up to 12 hours and our clothes for 24 hours, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Once a dog gets the flu, it can take 3 to 5 days to develop symptoms, which can include coughing, runny nose, lethargy, fever and loss of appetite. If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms, take him to the vet immediately.
This virus is no joke. It can take 2-3 weeks for the dog to recover and while the fatality rate is low (less than 10 percent), dogs can die from the flu.
There is an influenza shot for dogs, but it is costly and requires two visits to the vet. If that isn’t an option, keep a close eye on your dog, and if possible, stay away from areas where your pup could catch the flu.