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8 Things You Need to Know About Canine Influenza

When flu season rolls around, employers can expect a dip in productivity as many of their employees are forced to call in sick. Overall, flu season is a miserable time, with sufferers dealing with upset stomach, stuffy nose, and a nasty cough. That’s why so many medical professionals recommend people get the flu shot before flu season sets in.

Unfortunately, far fewer people are aware of canine influenza, or dog flu. Like human influenza, it’s highly contagious and caused by a virus—but unlike the human flu, it’s often fatal for our four-legged friends. Losing an animal to the flu is a strange and scary thought. Here’s what dog owners need to know about this potentially deadly doggie affliction…


1. Emergence of Dog Flu

Canine influenza hasn’t been with us very long. Experts at the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMA) believe the first outbreak of dog flu, known to many veterinarians as H3N8, was in the summer of 2004. Between June and August of that year there was an outbreak of canine influenza among racing greyhounds in six American states.

The following year, the problem spread to five more states. Most currently, dog flu has been reported in 40 states and Washington, D.C. These days, dog flu is a significant problem. Over the past year, the virus has struck down thousands of dogs with many succumbing to illness.

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