According to a release issued by the South Dakota Animal Industry Board, multiple cases of dog flu have been reported by veterinarians in the Rapid City, SD area. South Dakota State Veterinarian Dr. Dustin Oedekoven says laboratory tests have confirmed this is the same strain of H3N2 canine influenza that has caused outbreaks in other parts of the U. S. earlier this year--canine influenza has not been known to cause illness in people.
Much like the flu in humans, dog flu is a contagious respiratory disease. According to the ASPCA, symptoms of dog flu include:
• Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
• Rapid/difficult breathing
• Loss of appetite
If your dog exhibits symptoms of the flu, please contact your vet and have them examined. According to the numerous sites we checked, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog flu is not highly fatal, but is easily and quickly spread among dogs by:
• direct contact with an infected dog
• by contact with contaminated objects
This means that dogs can be exposed to this virus at boarding and grooming facilities, parks and even pet stores. Dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing any of the symptoms listed above should not expose their dog to other dogs. Clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease.
Red Hills Veterinary Hospital in Gillette has let us know that they have not diagnosed or suspected any cases of dog flu in the area. While dog flu has not been confirmed in Campbell County, Wyoming, Fur Kids Foundation is encouraging dog owners who have visited Rapid City with their dogs recently, as well as any local pet-related business owners, to contact a local veterinarian to discuss dog flu. We are also advising, along with AMC, that dog owners AVOID TRAVEL with their dogs to the Rapid City area.
If you are concerned about dog flu Fur Kids Foundation does encourage you to consult your veterinarian.
CNN: Canine flu outbreak: How to keep dogs safe
IGrow: Canine Influenza: What does it mean for dog owners and their plans?