Louisville Metro Animal Services recently tested eight of its shelter dogs for the canine flu after they began exhibiting signs of respiratory distress. While four of the diagnostic tests are still pending, four have come back positive for H3N2; the new, highly contagious strain of dog flu.
LMAS is working swiftly to formulate a plan to best handle this issue. Details will be released during a news conference on Monday, July 17 at 10 a.m. at the LMAS Animal Care Center (3705 Manslick Rd.) Members of the media will hear from LMAS Director, Ozzy Gibson, LMAS Veterinarian, Dr. Rachel Brown and a representative from the Kentucky Humane Society.
LMAS began vaccinating all of its shelter dogs for both strains of the dog flu (H3N2 and H3N8) on June 20. As a precautionary measure, LMAS will begin treating all of its dogs for the flu, as it can remain dormant in a dog’s system for about three days before exhibiting symptoms.
Throughout the weekend, both the LMAS Animal House Adoption Center and LMAS Animal Care Center will continue to operate under regular business hours. LMAS discourages community members from picking up strays, as they risk contaminating themselves and their cars, and spreading the virus to other pets. Strays should be reported to LMAS at (502)473-PETS. LMAS encourages pet owners to talk with their veterinarians about vaccinating their pets.
Canine Influenza or “Dog Flu” is a highly contagious virus that can affect dogs and cats of any breed, age, sex or health status. Almost ALL dogs exposed to the virus will become infected and the majority of dogs (80% of infected dogs) will develop flu symptoms. Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks. For more information, visit: https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Canine-Influenza-Backgrounder.aspx