The number of new cases of the virulent canine flu that hit the Asheville area in July had declined as of PetGazette press time. But area veterinarians are advising clients to think “safety first” and use common sense to avoid unnecessarily exposing their dogs to the new flu strain.
Dr. Joshua Cook of All Pets Animal Hospital said that they are still treating new cases in the tent set up in their parking lot so they could keep potential flu carriers away from other dogs. “We’re not seeing as many cases as we did before,” he said. “But we still recommend caution. Keep dogs away from places with unfamiliar dogs – like dog parks.”To avoid having your dog contract the canine flu, we recommend caution. Click To Tweet
Dr. Jerry Shelton of Smokey Park Veterinary Hospital also recommended keeping dogs away from canine social situations, especially those with mystery guests. He pointed out that dogs can have the canine flu but be asymptomatic for a while. That makes it much easier to spread the flu to other dogs, whose owners have no reason to be concerned about contact with an infected pet that exhibits no flu symptoms. Shelton explained that there is yet no vaccine effective against the new H3N2 flu strain.
“There is an effective vaccine against the old H3N8 flu,” Shelton said, “but it doesn’t work against this latest strain of the canine flu.”