I am an absolute dog-lover so things like this always make my ears perk up. People who choose a boarding facility or kennel over a professional pet sitter for their pets should perk their ears up too. According to CBS News a new strain of dog flu is spreading.
This new strain (called H3N2) was just discovered to be in a Washington kennel facility in King County and has infected several dogs so far. Over 90 dogs at the kennel were exposed to the virus. It is highly contagious to other dogs.
Last year, over 2000 dogs got sick with the dog flu in 24 states and there is now a vaccine available for that strain of the virus. But not this new strain.
Dr. Kim Hammond from Falls Road Animal Hospital in Maryland says, “Eighty percent of dogs exposed are going to get sick. Five percent are going to die. It’s scary,”
Another veterinarian, Dr. Beth Lipton, from the Public Health for Seattle King County says, “None of the dogs have immunity to fight it off, so you see large numbers of dogs getting ill when the virus starts to circulate. When dogs are going to daycare or dog parks or boarding overnight in kennel facilities, it can spread very rapidly.”
So her advice is perfect: “Keep your dog away from other dogs. Forego the grooming, or the dog park visit, and the obedience class and figure out what’s going on first so we can try to stop any potential outbreak.”
What does that mean to you? Call a professional pet sitter to take care of your dog in your home instead of the boarding facility or kennel if you have to go out of town. Steer clear of areas where dogs like to hang out together until this has passed. Keep your babies safe.