New canine influenza in North Carolina

GREENVILLE, N.C. — A new warning for dog owners, as the canine influenza has spread to North Carolina.

It’s called H3N2, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell if a dog is transmitting the virus.

“Dogs can be incubating and shedding the virus without showing clinical signs of disease,” Dr. Christian Proietto, a Veterinarian at Animal Care East. “So that’s definitely a concern. You could have an apparent healthy dog that’s transmitting the influenza A virus to a dog.”

But there are symptoms dog owners should know. Veterinarians say look out for fever signs, like a normal flu. Inappetence, respiratory signs, nasal discharge, lethargy, and a fever are the most common symptoms.

Although vets say you should keep a close eye on your dog, many owners say they’re not concerned.

“I think it’s something that we need to look at, but I’m not spending a lot of time worrying about it,” said dog owner, Becky Nelson. “I know what the symptoms are and what to look for.. so you still have to take your dog out.”

But even dogs who were vaccinated, aren’t necessarily protected.

Dr. Proietto said, “there’s a vaccine for the h3n8 strain, but we’re thinking there’s no cross protection for this new strain.”

Veterinarians say that if you suspect your dog may have the flu, contact your vet immediately.

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