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Important Notice: Canine Influenza Outbreak in the Tampa Bay Area

A sick dog with an ice pack on their head.

The Tampa Bay area is currently experiencing an outbreak of canine influenza, specifically the H3N2 strain. This highly contagious virus can pose significant risks to dogs, especially in social environments such as dog parks, boarding facilities, and grooming parlors.

What is Canine Influenza?

Canine influenza, or "dog flu," is a contagious respiratory infection in dogs. The current outbreak involves the H3N2 strain, which can cause the following symptoms:

  • Coughing

  • Sneezing

  • Nasal discharge

  • Fever

  • Decreased appetite

  • Lethargy

In severe cases, dogs may develop pneumonia, requiring hospitalization. Most dogs recover within two weeks but can remain contagious for up to four weeks.

How is it Spread?

The H3N2 virus spreads through direct contact with infected dogs and contaminated environments. It can survive on surfaces and human clothing for 12 to 24 hours, making transmission easy in communal settings.

What Should You Do?

If your dog shows symptoms of canine influenza, please follow these steps:

  1. Call Us First: Before bringing your dog in, contact our clinic at 813-968-5515. This call is critical and helps prevent the virus from spreading to other dogs.

  2. Provide Information: Please inform us of your dog's symptoms and whether it has been in contact with other dogs or visited communal facilities recently.

  3. Isolate Your Dog: If your dog is diagnosed with canine influenza, keep it isolated from other pets for at least four weeks.

How to Protect Your Dog

  1. Vaccination: We strongly recommend vaccinating your dog against H3N2. While the vaccine may not completely prevent infection, it reduces the severity and duration of the illness.

  2. Hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly clean your dog's bowls, toys, and bedding.

  3. Stay Informed: Stay updated on the outbreak in your community and avoid exposing your dog to large gatherings of dogs if the virus is present.

More Information

For more detailed information on canine influenza, please refer to these sources:

We are here to help keep your pets safe and healthy. Please get in touch with us with any questions or to schedule a vaccination appointment.

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