H3N2 strain can jump from dogs to cats
While New Orleans has no current documented cases of Canine Influenza, the H3N2 strain is confirmed in Louisiana and is highly contagious. Here are 10 things the Louisiana SPCA wants you to know about dog flu:
- There are two strains currently in the U.S. H3N8 and H3N2. H3N2 is confirmed in Louisiana as of May 2017.
- Neither strain of dog flu affects humans but humans can spread it.
- Dog flu spreads from coughing, sneezing and barking.
- The virus can survive on surfaces for 48 hours and on human skin for 12 hours.
- 80 percent of all dogs exposed to the virus will become infected. The remaining 20 percent can still spread the virus without showing symptoms.
- Common clinical signs are persistent cough despite treatments with antibiotics and cough suppressants. Other signs include a soft, moist cough or a dry cough that resembles “kennel cough.” Signs can progress to nasal and eye discharge, sneezing, lethargy, anorexia and fever.
- The incubation period is one to five days with clinical signs appearing two to three days after initial exposure.
- There is no true flu season. Dogs are susceptible all year long.
- Cats can be infected with H3N2 strain and show many of the clinical signs listed above. Sadly, there is no vaccination for cats at this time.
- The Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic offers vaccines for both H3N8 and H3N2 strains. The cost is $10 per dose.
To protect your pet against Canine Influenza, call 504-363-1333 to make an appointment. For more information visit www.la-spca.org/canineflu.