A highly contagious strain of dog flu known as H3N2 has arrived in Texas. The sick dog is in Beach City, near Houston, and came to Texas from Chicago.
This strain originated in Asia, and then hit Chicago hard, followed by Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio.
“It does seem to be very contagious dog-to-dog, much like human flu is pretty contagious person-to-person,” said Dr. Audrey Cook at Texas A&M.
Dog parks, day care, and boarding facilities are high risk for spreading this disease.
In addition to being highly contagious, the current vaccine for dog flu may not be effective against H3N2.
“Dogs who were vaccinated for the earlier strain probably don’t have any protection against this new one,” said Dr. Cook.
Symptoms include coughing/weezing, nose dicharge, fever, and loss of appetite. Dogs with existing health issues and older dogs are at risk for more serious and life threatening conditions. Often the flu strain leads to a secondary respiratory infection that could be fatal.
Listen to our interview with Steve Dale about the dog flu in Chicago;