LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A highly contagious and potentially dangerous strain of canine influenza is impacting WAVE Country. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health says a handful of cases have been reported in the Hoosier state, and they expect more.
Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, a wet nose, lack of energy, and loss of appetite. It's usually not fatal if treated right away, with a death rate of ten percent.
Dog flu can be transmitted between dogs, through contaminated objects, like water bowls, leashes, toys, and bedding. According to caninejournal.com, the virus lives on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on your hands for up to 12 hours.
Dogs that spend frequent time around other dogs during boarding, at doggy day cares, or playing with other pups at the park, are most at risk for canine influenza.
Veterinarians say prevention is the best way to stop the spread of dog flu. If your dog is sick, avoid contact with other dogs for a few days. Talk to your vet about vaccinating your dog, especially a few weeks before traveling. And if you like to pet every dog you see, wash your hands.