Southern California dog flu outbreak causing concern among local pet owners

Posted at 6:07 PM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 21:07:57-04

There is growing concern among local pet owners after a reported dog flu outbreak in Southern California.


35 dogs in LA County are reportedly involved in this flu outbreak.


The H3N2 canine influenza is a contagious flu virus that causes respiratory infection in dogs, and on rare occasions in cats.


The H3N2 flu strain was first found in the U.S. in 2015 when it caused a large outbreak in the Chicago area that spread to other parts of the country. 


The latest dog flu outbreak is traced to an infected dog rescued from china last month.


“Signs would be coughing, perhaps sneezing, running a fever, loss of appetite,” said Dr. Paul Ulrich with the Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital.


“That virus is present in situations where you have kennels, shelters, doggy day care those types of situations where you have lots of dogs in a small space,” added Dr. Ulrich.  


To date, there is no evidence that humans can become sick with H3N2 canine influenza.


According to Kern County Animal Services there have been no reported cases here locally.


Currently, the H3N2 vaccine is not required but if you would like to take precautionary steps and have your dog vaccinated, you can contact the Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital