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Lawyers ... you loooooove your dogs. The proof is in the "12 Best Breeds for Lawyers" post we shared last month. Dog-loving lawyers couldn't get enough of it - so much so we followed it up with another dogs/lawyers post.
So when I saw that the flu bug had hit 80 dogs in a Chicago shelter (as reported by IDEXX), I thought lawyers - for the sake of their four-legged friends - needed to know.
That is, you need to know the dangers of dog flu, and what to be looking for. As the IDEXX article notes:
[T]he virus has continued to spread across the United States causing local outbreaks. This particular strain has demonstrated greater virulence, infectivity and prolonged shedding ....
The canine influenza virus - a/k/a the dog flu - is a virus that's limited to dogs (currently, no human transmissions have been reported). There are two strains of dog flu: the H3N8 and the H3N2 viruses. A vaccine has been approved for H3N8, though it's ineffective against H3N2. However, new H3N2 vaccines are now available.
Coughing, sneezing and sharing contaminated objects can spread the infection. To prevent spreading, owners should disinfect items - equipment, toys, surfaces - that have been exposed to a sick dog.
Death percentages are small. However, the flu can become so severe that an infected dog develops pneumonia. Young puppies/older dogs have increased odds of getting severely ill. And some breeds - like pugs, French bulldogs, and Pekinese - have a difficult time dealing with the flu.
As mentioned earlier, some dogs show no signs of illness.
Treating an infected dog involves:
The Pulse of Veterinary Medicine - IDEXX
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention