SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Canine influenza emerged about 10 years ago when it popped up in greyhound racing tracks in Florida. Since then it’s spread across half the United States.
It’s thought to have jumped from the horse influenza virus. Initially in greyhounds, symptoms included; hemhorrhagic pneumonia, but in most dogs it causes a low-grade fever with some runny discharge from their nose.
Sometimes, in about 10 percent of dogs it will worsen to a high fever and pneumonia.
The dog flu is extremely contagious. Because this is a new disease for dogs, there’s no natural immunity for this. If we see it pop up in a community, it’ll spread like wildfire.
But what should the dog owner do if they think their pet has contracted canine influenza? Dr. Jackson Scarlett said there’s no way to tell it apart from other respiratory diseases and to see your veterinarian so they can make the diagnosis.
That way they’ll be able to make recommendations for vaccinations or other measures in San Francisco.
For more information on canine influenza go to sfspca.org.
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