Maricopa Animal Care and Control: Tips to protect your fur friends against canine influenza

PHOENIX - Maricopa Animal Care and Control is warning dog owners to be watchful of signs of canine influenza (H3N2) after two positive cases were identified in the Valley.

This is the first time the disease has been reported in Arizona, a MCACC spokesperson confirmed.

There are two forms of the particular strain of the virus. Symptoms include: 

Mild form — A soft moist cough that can last between 10 to 30 days
Severe form — Fevers between 104 to 106 degrees, possible pneumonia and in some cases death

The severe form has been diagnosed in less than 10-percent infected with the disease, MCACC said. 

Just like the flu in humans, H3N2 is preventative. Dogs who are often in contact with other dogs should receive the vaccine, MCACC said. Dogs are not immune to the virus and it is highly contagious between dogs. 

There are no confirmed cases that H3N2 has been transferred to humans, MCACC explained. However, humans who come in contact with the virus can transfer it to their furry friends. 

Here are some tips to protect your pets:

  • Proper hygiene is recommended for any human who comes in contact with any dog that is unfamiliar to them.
  • Proper hand washing and sanitizing techniques are encouraged to stop the spread of the virus.
  • Make sure pets are properly vaccinated and maintain regular visits with their veterinarian.

An MCACC spokesman said the two dogs who were diagnosed with the virus are receiving treatment and are doing well.  

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