Montgomery Parks has issued an alert to county dog owners, especially dog park frequenters, concerning the prevalence of canine flu (AKA dog flu) in the area.
Canine flu is a respiratory disease caused by a strain of Type A influenza virus and is considered highly contagious to dogs. There is no evidence it can be transmitted to humans, though humans can transmit the virus after touching an infected dog. Cases are generally mild but in severe circumstances, can lead to death.
“Vaccination and avoiding contact with any unknown dogs or dogs who are showing signs of upper respiratory infection are the best ways to protect pets. Please talk to your vet about getting vaccinated today,” Dr. Gregory Lawrence, DVM Chief Veterinarian for Montgomery County Office of Animal Services, said in a press release.
Symptoms of dog flu can include cough, runny nose, eye discharge, fever, lethargy, and poor appetite, according to the release. “Infected dogs should be separated from other dogs for at least 28 days and not go to dog parks, doggy daycare, or grooming and boarding facilities.” The release continues.
Other ways to protect dogs include:
- Get the dog(s) vaccinated
- Limit contact with other dogs when on walks
- Avoid using shared toys or dishes
- Skip daycare, grooming, boarding facilities and dog parks if your dog is showing signs of illness, and
- Contact the dog’s daycare or boarding facility and ask about recent cases and cleaning protocols.
More information is available from the Centers for Disease Control.
Photo by Mike Diegel