Dogs n the United States might be in danger and owners should deb aware. Canine influenza virus from Asia has started an epidemic in the U.S.
A Labrador retriever, called Hunter, has been left by his family for 10 days in a dog facility center, while they were in vacation. When they returned the staff told the Alicia Fitzgerald, the owner of the dog, that he had been coughing. In two days the dog, of only 2 years old, was given the diagnostic of canine influenza virus.
Hunter has not been the only dog from Chicago infected with this disease, as official reports have shown other 1,300 dogs affected by the epidemic. It is the first time this virus has reached the United States. For the moment, the virus has only been detected in the Chicago region, but it is extremely contagious and cats can get is as well, stated experts from the Cornell University.
The virus called H3N2 has been affecting dogs from several regions of Asia among which South Korea and China.
Presently, researchers from Cornell, have no clue how the virus arrived in the United States and are really surprised by its presence as they weren’t expecting to find it on the American continent.
When the virus was discovered in the United States, scientists from Cornell, found a reasonable explanation for why the virus rose so fast into an epidemic and their theory was backed up by scientists from the University of Wisconsin. Researchers explained that nowadays animals are traveling just as much as humans are and this means that the arrival of this virus that is found in Asia, in the United States is not that atypical.
Experts have stated that there are surely more strains of virus around and pet boarding facilities, pet day cares have been closed and even dogs in the parks are fewer. Since the epidemic, there have been six dogs who passed away because of complications, reports of the Cook County of Animal and Rabies Control have stated.
Fitzgerald said Hunter exhibited clear symptoms of illness before she brought him to the veterinarian.
Before taking him to the vet, Hunter showed obvious signs of the infection. A day before he started coughing and sneezing, had no appetite and was in a passive mood, explained his owner.
Fitzgerald said that she is doing her best to make him feel comfortable and to give him all the attention he demands.
The symptoms shown by Hunter are standard for this illness, and if noticing that your dog has runny nose, cough, sneeze, seem weak and refuse to eat, you should take it immediately to the vet.
The disease can be treated but is extremely contagious and if not treated in time it can lead to pneumonia which can be fatal, especially in dogs whose immune system is weak.
Unfortunately, because the disease is coming from Asia and doesn’t exist in the United States, it doesn’t exist a vaccine for it and it is not known if the vaccines available could prevent dogs form getting infected. Even so, owners are advised to vaccinate their dogs against the flu, as the vaccine cant hurt.
Veterinarians advise dog owner to not let them socialise with other dogs and if their dog gets sick, they should keep it in quarantine for at least 10 days after the symptoms have vanished.
Angie Lopez an owner of a dog services business, stated that she has been in this field for 14 years but she had never seen something like this happen before.
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