Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Bottger, in Sioux City, says the dog flu, known as H3N2, is of greater concern to pets that may have other medical issues.
“Really, the biggest concern is that it doesn’t spread to any dogs that might have a disease like leukemia or lymphoma or something that would put them at a greater risk for complications,” Dr. Bottger says.
The virus has swept through the Midwest, sickening more than 1,000 dogs and killing at least five in the last month. The canine flu symptoms are similar to those when humans get the flu.
“All around just general not feeling well, hacking and dry, non-productive coughs,” Bottger says. “Those sorts of symptoms are what you’re going to see — kind of an upper respiratory issue.”
As a precaution, the city of Sioux City has temporarily closed a popular dog park. Bottger says it’s a good idea for dog owners to keep their pet away from other dogs.
“When you go to the vet’s office, make sure your dog is on a short leash so you can keep them beside you the whole time and away from coming in contact with other dogs,” Bottger says.
The veterinarian who treated the sick dog in Sioux City says the owners reported the dog’s health is improving.
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City