The state of Michigan saw an increase in cases of dog flu this year. More than 160 cases were reported in the state.
Dr. Stephen Carey, a professor in small animal clinical sciences in the college of veterinary medicine at Michigan State University, said compared to last year, this year’s increase was fairly strong.
“In climates like Michigan, where we have really harsh winters, that tends to be more frequent over the summer,” Dr. Carey said.
According to the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter, the flu infection started out in southeast Michigan in the Detroit area.
“There were some resident animals that generally live in Ingham County that were also infected while visiting those areas,” said Kate Turner, customer service and community manager at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter.
Similar to the flu in humans, dog flu spreads through general contact with other dogs.
Dr. Carey said, when there’s an outbreak, it’s advised that dog owners limit their pet’s social interactions. In addition to that, it is recommended that dogs get the influenza vaccine in order to limit the risk of getting the virus.
Dr. Carey said dog flu is very similar to kennel cough, but dogs that get influenza would get a little bit sicker. However, most dogs recover just fine after about two weeks.