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Rumors have been circulating at dog shows concerning viruses. But as is often the case with rumors, they contain both fact and fiction. We suggest caution rather than worry. A few facts are that there are thousands of dog shows yearly across the US. There are many viruses that are widespread in the US not just at dog shows. Unfortunately, sometimes these viruses are picked up at or around dog shows and other public places. Currently, many states are seeing a rise in the following viruses.
Canine Influenza viruses (H3N8 and H3N2), sometimes referred to as Dog Flu. The signs of this illness in dogs are cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite, but not all dogs will show signs of illness. The severity of illness associated with canine flu in dogs can range from no signs to severe illness resulting in pneumonia and sometimes death. Most dogs recover within 2 to 3 weeks. However, some dogs may develop secondary bacterial infections which may lead to more severe illness and pneumonia. Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health, or whose pet is showing signs of canine influenza, should contact their veterinarian.
Canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD), also known as kennel cough symptoms can include: a harsh cough, which is classically described as 'goose honk'. Nose discharge, eye discharge, mild fever, or gagging (or retching) with mucous froth produced that can look like vomit.
Mycoplasma Cynos, a respiratory disease found in dogs that may include: inflammation of several joints at the same time, long-term lethargy, difficulty moving around, weakness, fever and signs of discomfort, squinting of the eyes, constant blinking, fluid buildup in the eyes, redness in the eyes, eye discharge or conjunctivitis (pink eye), respiratory upset may also occur causing some cases of sneezing, coughing, sniffling, straining to urinate, blood in urine, frequent urination, arthritis, colitis (bloody/mucoid diarrhea), conjunctivitis, depression, anorexia, weight loss, skin abscesses, infertility and abortion in pregnant females.
Things dog owners can do: Keep sick dogs at home and seek veterinary care. Avoid communal water bowls shared by multiple dogs. Protect against Dog Flu with the Nobivac® Canine Flu Bivalent vaccine. Talk with your vet about this vaccine during the same visit in which your dog gets the Bordetella vaccination. This can help your dog (and others) from contracting the disease. If your dog is diagnosed with Dog Flu or any other virus, it is important to keep them out of shared spaces and places other dogs frequent for 4 weeks.
Avoid: Doggie daycares, Kennels, and shelters, Dog parks, Dog-racing facilities, Dog shows, Pet stores, Groomers, and any other places dogs frequent.