Busy flu season also affecting dogs, health officials say

ATLANTA — Local veterinarians are keeping a close eye on the spread of dog flu after reports of outbreaks in three states.

Health officials are reporting outbreaks of dog flu in California, Kentucky and Ohio, as well as an uptick in cases in Florida.

Dana Fugaro said she got an alert from her dog Lucy’s vet office to be on the lookout for dog flu.

“I thought it was great that they’re letting us know what to look out for,” she said.

Dr. Jennifer Pittman, with Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital in Sandy Springs, said there have been no cases in Georgia this year, but they’re on the lookout.

“Multiple veterinary hospitals, as well as the diagnostic labs, will track where they’re seeing those positive tests come from,” she said.


The flu strain that’s affecting dogs is the same one hitting humans hard this season: H3N2.

Pittman said there’s no risk for passing it back and forth.

“It is not contagious from people to dogs, or from dogs to people,” she said.

Pittman said dog flu is still a risk and owners should watch for coughing, runny noses, lack of appetite and low energy.

Dog owner Adam Sweeney said his dog Penny has always been healthy, but he’ll be on alert.

“She stays pretty close to me when she’s out here anyways, so I think she’ll be alright,” he said.

There is a vaccine available for dog flu.

If you think your dog has the flu, you should call your vet before showing up because they may want to quarantine your pet.