H3N2 – better known as the dog flu – is currently plaguing the Midwest, but experts are unsure how it got there.
This particular strain of dog flu has never been seen in North America before. Experts at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine say it’s commonly found in dog populations in South Korea and parts of China.
There have been confirmed cases of H3N2 in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Over 1,000 dogs are sick and at least six have died between January and March.
Symptoms that dog owners need to look out for are coughing, runny nose, and fever.
Veterinarians advise to treat dog flu just like human flu. Avoid contact with infected dogs, wash hands thoroughly after coming in contact with other dogs, and keep dogs home if they’re experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Doggie daycares and spas across the Midwest are suffering from a decline in clients as veterinarians are discouraging dog owners from taking their dogs to daycares, dog parks, and from having their dogs play with other dogs.
Some pet businesses closed for several days in order to help prevent the virus from spreading.
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