More than a dozen pooches in Florida have contracted the H3N2 canine influenza according to the Miami Herald, which is reporting that the dogs became infected after participating in dog shows in DeLand, Fla., and Perry, Ga., between May 19 and May 27.
Several of the dogs had to be hospitalized, but “all are in stable condition,” said the state’s chief vet, Dr. Michael Short.
While the flu is not typically fatal to dogs and cannot spread to humans, it can lead to pneumonia if untreated, and cats can contract the virus.
“It’s very contagious, so you have to be careful,” said Dr. Marta Lista of Trail Animal Hospital. “Most dogs don’t have immunity and they don’t have vaccines.”
Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, fever, runny noses and lethargy. It is recommended that dog owners should call their vets if they see symptoms. The sick pets need to be quarantined for at least four weeks, and owners should also keep their pet away from other animals until they are treated.