Canine Influenza Is on the Rise in Maryland—Here’s What You Can… – Washingtonian
Canine influenza is on the rise in the area. The Montgomery County Animals Service and Adoption Center released a warning to all dog owners that multiple cases have been reported already this year—it recommends that they avoid pet grooming services, dog parks, and other places where pups might come into contact with one another.
Maria Anselmo, community relations manager for the adoption center, says that will county veterinary hospitals have confirmed 57 cases of canine flu between December 30 and January 5. That is likely an undercount because many owners opt out of testing and move forward treatment without reporting the case. Vets in Herndon plus Baltimore are also seeing cases.
There are many different strains of canine influenza, but at its core it is a respiratory illness that, according to the CDC , causes coughing, a runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite in dogs . Recovery can take between two and three weeks, though some dogs develop more serious infections that can be life-threatening.
There is a widely available vaccine, but if your pet isn’t inoculated the best prevention strategy is to limit your pup’s exposure to other dogs. Kennels and shelters can be particularly infectious (the virus is spread through respiratory droplets).
If your dog does start exhibiting symptoms, call your vet to determine whether an appointment is necessary. Make sure your pet stays hydrated. In the event that the virus develops into an infection, the vet will prescribe antibiotics to treat it.