Texas sees rise in canine flu cases

Austin, TX (CBS) – Vets are seeing a spike in cases of the canine flu.

Since September, there have been 30 confirmed cases of canine influenza “A” in San Antonio and another 70 cases are suspected. This flu is also known as H3N8.

Veterinarians say they don’t want dog owners to panic, but they want them to be aware that (it)can strike quickly.

According the Center for Disease Control the canine influenza virus can be spread by direct contact with infected dogs and by contact with contaminated objects. The canines with an increased risk are those who frequent dog daycares, parks and boarding facilities.

Susan Wagi, who’s been a vet for more almost 20 years, says the influenza is an upper respiratory infection and parks, doggy daycares and boarding facilities can expose your pet to dogs that have the infection. She says, “Just like daycare centers for children were kids get upper respiratory infections frequently.”

The symptoms of illness in dogs are cough, runny nose and fever, though some dogs may not show any signs at all. Severe illness can cause pneumonia which may lead to death. There is no cure for the h3n8 virus, but a vaccine has been approved to treat the virus.

The best way to prevent the virus is through vaccination.

The virus cannot infect humans and cannot jump to cats or other species. There are tests your vet can do to make sure that if you dog is infected, they can be treated properly.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 38 states including Texas, have reported cases of the dog flu. The first case was recorded back in 2004 in Florida.