CANTON, Ga., Sept. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canine influenza is impacting dogs in the U.S. and Canton, Georgia's Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic is trying to raise awareness about the condition. Also referred to as dog flu, the condition is a relatively new health concern for U.S. dog owners. 2015 marks the first outbreak of canine influenza — strain H3N2 — in North American dogs. The H3N2 strain is responsible for the outbreak which affected dogs in the U.S. Midwest in May, 2015. By educating dog owners about the existence of not one, but three strains of canine influenza, the clinic hopes to raise awareness so pet owners can take appropriate preventative actions.
Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic of Canton, Georgia, wants to educate area pet owners about the real threat of canine influenza. Clinic veterinarian Dr. Michael Good warns that, "Most dogs in the U.S. have never been exposed to canine influenza. They don't have the natural antibodies to protect them against canine influenza."
What this means for dogs in the area is that exposure to any one of the three strains of canine influenza currently in circulation is highly likely to infect the pet. In fact, 80 percent of dogs exposed to this strain are likely to contract the virus.
Fortunately, only two of the strains have affected dogs in the U.S. until this point. H3N8 is responsible for an outbreak in 1999 and the more current strain, H3N2. There is one strain that is limited to dogs in China at this point, H5N2. There is no documentation at this time to indicate the spread of any of these three strains from dogs to humans.
The incubation period for canine flu is between two and four days though dogs can be spreading the disease to other dogs throughout the incubation period. Some dogs will carry and spread the disease without ever showing clinical signs of the disease.
The dogs at greatest risk for serious complications from the infection are those that are very old, very young, or have chronic conditions. Dogs that are considered generally unhealthy may also be particularly susceptible to canine influenza.
Owners are encouraged to take preventative steps to avoid canine influenza. One of the most important steps to take is to vaccinate pups against canine influenza – especially dogs that are in the high risk group.
Dr. Good recommends that owners who have dogs that have been exposed to canine influenza or that are displaying symptoms should schedule an appointment with a veterinarian immediately. Typical symptoms may closely resemble those of the human flu and may include fever, sneezing, coughing and general lethargy.
About Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic
Located on Ball Ground Highway in Canton, Georgia, Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic offers general and emergency care services for household pets in the area.
CONTACT: Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic, (770) 479-1905Source:Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic