SAN JOSE (KRON) — A version of the flu is affecting dogs in the South Bay, as doctors are reporting an outbreak of the canine flu.
The flu is highly contagious and doctors say that most dogs that come into contact with an infected dog will get it. The good news is most dogs will recover, but there are steps you can take to protect your dog.
Eleven-year-old Izzy, a Boxer mix, is currently in isolation and on IVs at a Campbell vet hospital after coming down with canine influenza also known as the dog flu.
“Dog flu causes coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy, not eating–highly contagious,” Emergency Veterinarian Dr. Stephanie LaPlume said.
Dr. LaPlume says in her 10 years in the South Bay, she has never before seen an outbreak of dog flu. Doctors believe Izzy got it from an infected dog at a South Bay daycare facility.
Now, in just the last two weeks, doctors at United Veterinary Specialty & Emergency have seen three confirmed cases and nearly 50 others that are suspected of having dog flu in the greater San Jose area.
“I am very concerned because now will not be able to get rid of it, will always be here in Bay Area,” Dr. LaPlume said. “It will die down as more get vaccine but large numbers of cases before that happens.”
LaPlume believes it will spread across the Bay Area, which is why she recommends dogs that interact with other dogs either at the groomer, in dog parks, or daycare should get the vaccine.
“Dog flu vaccine decreases severity and chances of getting it but doesn’t eliminate altogether,” LaPlume said.
Some other key facts: dog flu is primarily spread from dog to dog, but a human that has been in contact with an infected dog can spread it to another dog.
Most dogs who get dog flu don’t have to be hospitalized and recover in two or three weeks.
Finally, humans cannot get dog flu.
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