Due to the outbreak of H3N1 canine influenza, the Georgia SPCA has canceled plans for a weekend vaccination clinic scheduled in Gwinnett County.
“The pets that are exposed to it, probably will catch it. And so we should be concerned. Fever, coughing, sneezing, upper respiratory signs – dogs will stop eating and they’re lethargic.”
The vaccination available as a preventative isn’t 100 percent effective, and many veterinary clinics have it on back order. It’s not the strain of the canine flu going around at this time.
Veterinarians agree that most dogs will survive H3N1 if prescribed antibiotics, but agree that keeping your dog out of public places where dogs gather is the best prevention.
The H3N1 virus can live on surfaces for 48 hours and on hands for 12 hours, according to the SPCA. It’s not transmittable to humans, but reports are conflicted as to whether or not cats can contract the virus.
Symptoms can range from mild, where a sick dog has a cough, lack of energy and mild fever to severe symptoms where a dog runs a 104 to 106-degree fever and shows signs of respiratory distress
Since the number of canine flu cases has increased over the past few weeks, one dog food business in Kennesaw made the decision not to allow dogs into their store. South Cobb Patch reported July 10 that the Good Dog Company posted Thursday on their Facebook page
“It’s come to our attention…and I have confirmed myself with staff at said locations … the doggy flu has become quite widespread through out the Kennesaw area and there have been several outbreaks. I’ve made a heartfelt decision and am asking that no dogs be brought into the store until further notice. We will miss our daily lovies from them but better safe then sorry. Please take the necessary precautions to protect your babies.”
So far eight cases have been reported in Cobb County, and one case in Cherokee County, with more than 80% of infected dogs showing symptoms. Just this week in Clayton County the shelter shut down after one of the dogs was diagnosed with the canine flu.
Dog parents should use caution when taking their dog to dog parks, pet stores and any other place where they could be exposed. At this time, prevention is the best course of action to safeguard the health of your dog.