Animal hospital warns owners of dog flu outbreak in upstate

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – Several animal hospitals, pet boarding facilities and pet groomers in the Greenville and Spartanburg areas are warning animal owners of an outbreak of dog flu.

The Balanced Pets Integrative Care Center, located in Travelers Rest, said cases of H3N2 canine influenza have been confirmed in surrounding cities and states.

H3N2 canine influenza is a contagious, airborne virus with symptoms that include coughing, sneezing, lethargy and possible loss of appetite, according to the center.

Experts say the flu puts dogs at risk when they visit boarding facilities, groomers, dog parks, or even take a walk through the community where another dog might have been.

Creature Comforts Veterinary Resort and Suites says that just like people, dogs can be affected by different strains of influenza. There are two strains that affect dogs internationally: H3N2 and H3N8.

A vaccine now exists that will protect against the H3N2 and H3N8 strains, Creature Comforts said. A booster is required two to four weeks later, and dogs should be revaccinated with one dose every year.

Dogs can still get influenza from the vaccine, however clinical signs will be milder.

Pet owners are encouraged to speak with their veterinarian before making boarding arrangements to decide if their dog should be vaccinated.

For more information on H3N2 canine influenza, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association.

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