Dog Flu Alert
Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is alerting park visitors of recent instances of canine influenza (dog flu) in Montgomery County first reported by ABC7/WJLA.
A bulletin released by the state of Maryland confirms the report and indicates that canine influenza “…causes an acute respiratory infection and is highly contagious. There are two general clinical syndromes, a mild syndrome with a cough, and a more severe respiratory disease that can lead to death.”
Montgomery Parks advises dog owners and dog park users in the county to take precautions and protect their pets from dog flu by contacting their veterinarians if they notice symptoms which include cough, runny nose and fever.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
“The number of dogs infected with this disease that die is very small. Some dogs have asymptomatic infections (no symptoms), while some have severe infections. Severe illness is characterized by the onset of pneumonia. Although this is a relatively new cause of disease in dogs and nearly all dogs are susceptible to infection, about 80 percent of dogs will have a mild form of disease.”
Dog flu can be spread by direct contact with infected dogs, contaminated objects and through people moving between infected and uninfected dogs, according to the CDC.
For more information about canine influenza, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/canine/