Dog Flu in NYC: How to Avoid, Diagnose, + Treat

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Spring has sprung and Canine Influenza is something to watch out for - All you need to know to help your dog dodge it, below:

If you’ve dealt with the dog flu before, comment and let us know. We want to hear from you.

How it spreads:

From dog-to-dog, the flu spreads most quickly in day cares and dog parks. Day care is harder to avoid, but ask the tough questions and make sure you trust your caretakers to watch out for signs of flu, and to alert owners when any of their pups have symptoms.

Just like the flu in people, the specific strain of the virus can vary year to year. Last spring in NYC, the H3N2 strain took the city by storm, was relatively new, and thus most dogs didn’t have a change to develop immunity towards it yet.

Symptoms:

Symptoms for your dog are just like symptoms for people. Fatigue and lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, runny nose, coughing. Poor guy.

It can take 2-4 days for symptoms to start, and they can last 7-10 days in full force, or up to 24 days of intermittent symptoms.

Again, like in people, dogs with weaker symptoms (very young or very old, or those with other conditions affecting their immune system) are most susceptible.

Prevention:

Most vets offer a flu shot for pups. They generally charge between $50 - $100. Consult your veterinarian for the best recommendation for your dog.

How to Treat your Flu-sick pup:

Lots of fluids, food, rest, and love. Most advise you to keep your dog away from others for at least 3 weeks.

Be extra cautious to wash toys and food / water bowls regularly with soap and water.

Take care of yourself too - regularly wash any clothes, blankets, and your hands when your dog has a respiratory illness.

But really - have you had a personal experience with the flu? Tell us about it below.