Canine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease found in dogs. Known as H3N8, this strain of flu virus could send your pooch to the animal hospital. Cincinnati’s TLC Pet Care Centers has two locations on the East and West side of the city and focus on pet wellness and preventative care. With a few proactive steps, you can stop the disease from affecting your dog or others.
Since dog flu is spread through the air just like human flu, awareness and cleanliness are important. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected dog, objects like toys or bowls, or by people with the virus on their hands or clothing. Canine influenza can remain alive for 12 to 48 hours outside of a host, so wash your hands regularly and use routine disinfectants in the home.
To further prevent infection, do not allow your dog to share communal toys or dishes. If you suspect your dog may be sick, isolate them from other canines for at least two weeks. Any clothing, equipment, or surfaces that could be contaminated by your dog should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Family members and home visitors should wash their hands before and after playing with your pet.
Dogs have the highest level of virus in their respiratory secretions two to four days after exposure. Often, they are not yet showing symptoms when they are most at risk of transmitting the virus. Dogs may be able to spread canine flu for up to 10 days, so be vigilant if you suspect anything, and call your local vet hospital with any questions.
Cincinnati’s favorite animal hospital wants to keep your pet healthy. For caring prevention and treatment, call TLC Pet Care Centers at one of their two locations, East: (513) 683-2300 or West: (513) 825-4011. For more information on their team of veterinarians, visit their website.