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1. There are 2 strains of the canine flu virus - both dogs and cats can be infected but NOT humans.
2. Patton's current flu vaccine contains both strains (H3N8 and H3N2) and requires a series of two injections 3-4 weeks apart.
3. Dogs at risk include those in the same situations as would be at risk for kennel cough:
4. Symptoms of canine flu in both cats and dogs include sneezing and nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy/fever and possibly decreased appetite. Pets are contagious BEFORE they show signs of illness and can display symptoms for 10-21 days. Rare cases of flu may progress to an even more serious pneumonia. Infected dogs should be isolated from other dogs for 30 days to prevent spread.
5. Canine flu is spread by airborne/aerosol droplets in the air by coughing or sneezing but can also live on our hands/skin for 12 hours, clothing for 24 hours, and surfaces such as cages, food and water bowls, leashes, toys etc. for 48 hours. Hand washing and proper disinfection of potentially contaminated surfaces is essential to prevent spread.
6. Treatment of canine flu involves supportive care such as IV fluids to prevent dehydration and antibiotics may be given to prevent secondary bacterial infection or if pneumonia is suspected but antibioics will NOT directly treat the flu which is viral in nature.