Vets warn of highly contagious dog flu in Georgia

Dog flu can spread quickly and easily because dogs are typically friendly pets.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture reports multiple dogs who attended the show last month have developed respiratory disease and tested positive for the H3N2 strain.

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine reported SC was one of eight states with confirmed cases of H3N2 canine influenza.

A case has been confirmed in the Savannah area, originating from the Georgia dog show, according to the Forsyth Park Animal Hospital.

UGACVM reported vaccines for H3N2 and H3N8, another strain of the dog flu, have recently come on the market and is recommended for "socially active" dogs.

"When (canine flu) is around it's real, real easy to spread from one to the other", saidMarikay Campbell, head veterinarian at the Port Royal Veterinary Hospital. Officials are urging pet owners to have their dogs vaccinated as soon as possible. "Do the vaccine, get your booster in two to three weeks and then hopefully your dog will be protected when it goes to the kennel". Multiple cases of the flu were also confirmed in SC during that outbreak, according to Campbell.

Germs from coughing and sneezing dogs can reach up to 20 feet away and can stay on human clothing for up to 24 hours, according to Charleston Animal Society. Symptoms include coughing, lethargy and a fever.

The breeder said she and two dog co-owners at the show ended up with 17 sick dogs. The dogs were from Raleigh, and the North Carolina coast, the report said.

With the dog days of summer comes a warning for your furry, four-legged friends.

  • Joanne Flowers