There’s concern about a different type of flu outbreak in California that’s shown up on parts of the Central and South Coasts, which targets our four-legged friends. It’s called Canine Influenza, or dog flu.
While some dogs don’t show any symptoms, it can cause fever, coughing, sneezing, and loss of appetite among canines. If treated, most dogs get better in two to three weeks, but it can lead to serious illness, and death in some cases.
The flu is spread by direct contact with secretions, or contaminated items like water bowls or toys. The virus can live one to two days on hard surfaces, and ill dogs can spread the virus for about three weeks. It doesn’t pose a threat to humans.
More than 70 cases of the canine flu have been reported in California, with a half dozen in San Luis Obispo County. No cases have been confirmed in Santa Barbara County.