Dog Flu Or Kennel Cough? Sioux Falls Vet Says Only One Has Hit South Dakota

Kentucky, Texas, and Florida have all seen recent cases of the Canine Influenza Virus. In the last month, the Dog Flu has spread to the Midwest with eight confirmed cases in Minnesota. It has yet to make its way to South Dakota, vets are seeing similar symptoms.

Dr. Mike McIntyre at Sioux Nation Pet Clinic says people get scared when they hear Dog Flu. But so far recently, only two cases have been tested from South Dakota. And both came up negative.

McIntyre said, “As of now we don’t have any here, but Minnesota is very close by and that’s one of the things I stress to people that it doesn’t just stop right there.”

While he’s not pushing all pet owners to get the vaccine, he does encourage it if you’re traveling with your dog to Minnesota.

“In all likelihood there’s so many other things to be concerned about,” said McIntyre.

McIntyre sees a lot of respiratory infections, also known as Kennel Cough. He says pets are more at risk when they’re around a large amount of dogs, like those that have been at the humane society.

“It simply comes down to a number thing. The humane society does a fantastic job. They get a lot of animals in. Unfortunately, they have a lot of animals there. There’s lots of exposure, just like little kids in a grade school, they can all pass it around.”

The Dog Flu and Kennel Cough spread the same way: through direct contact or by air. The symptoms are also similar. Dogs with the flu will be lethargic, not want to eat, have a low fever, nasal discharge, and a wet cough. Kennel Cough includes fever and nasal discharge, but a dry, hacking cough.

“They can pick it up when they’re out at the dog park too, but Kennel Cough is so much more like us. In the winter when kids go to school flu diseases spread much more easily because we’re all closely in a small area,” said

McIntyre says if you’re worried your dog has either one, take them to the veterinarian.

McIntyre says the vaccine used for Kennel Cough protects against a certain bacteria. A different vaccine fights against two strains of the flu.

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