Dog Flu: Can Your Dog Get It?

Dog flu, a highly contagious and sometimes deadly canine disease has been detected in a number of states and may be spreading around the country.

Researchers reported that the mysterious dog flu is an influenza strain that jumped from horses to dogs.

The dog flu is highly similar to the equine flu that's been in the U.S. for more than 40 years. Influenza has never before occurred in dogs.

Humans don't get the virus from horses, and it's unlikely they'll get it from dogs, according to experts at the Influenza Branch of the Centers for Disease Control.

The medical term for dog flu is H3N8 influenza virus.

Symptoms of canine flu are a lot like those of "kennel cough." Dogs with symptoms may have a nagging cough, fever, and nasal discharge.

Dogs with canine flu are susceptible to getting pneumonia.

Canine flu made the news earlier this year as greyhound racetracks closed to control outbreaks. Veterinarians struggled to tell if the illness was a new variant of kennel cough or an entirely new disease. It was first detected at a Florida racetrack and several dogs died from it.

Tests of blood stored by racetracks suggests the new canine flu strain began infecting dogs sometime between 1999 and 2003, well before the first outbreaks were recognized.

The announcement follows months of rumors and growing worry among dog-lovers, about canine flu.

Researchers have been working on a canine flu vaccine for three months. It's not yet known how long it would take for such a flu vaccine to be to developed, tested, manufactured, and distributed for veterinary use.

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Neal Kennedy is the author of Yorkshire Terrier Secrets at