Yes, Dogs Can Get the Flu. Here's What You Should Know About It

iStock
iStock

Humans aren’t the only ones suffering this flu season. As Newsweek reports, a significant number of dogs across America are falling victim to strains of canine-specific influenza virus this year.

The human flu is caused by multiple, ever-changing virus strains and tends to be most common during the fall and winter. In contrast, the two specific Type A influenza viruses that affect dogs—the H3N8 virus and H3N2 virus—are present year-round. It can spread through barking, coughing, and sneezing, and is highly contagious.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says that any pooches exposed to the virus will almost certainly fall ill themselves. Similar to the human flu, symptoms include a cough, sneezing, runny nose and eyes, listlessness, and a high fever, according to U.S. News & World Report.

"It looks like kennel cough, but [the dogs] get sicker faster," veterinarian Anita Moore, who runs an animal clinic in Lothian, Maryland, tells Mental Floss. "The dogs have a higher fever. Most of them can recover in two to three weeks, but it can kill some animals who aren't in good health."

Unfortunately, this season seems to be an especially bad one for dog flu. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, which uses online surveillance maps to track canine influenza transmission rates, has found that in the past 45 days alone, 109 dogs have tested positive for the influenza virus. California has reported 72 sick pooches, and other cases have been confirmed in Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.

Both strains of dog flu are tied to influenza strains that affect other species. Canine H3N8, for example, was first discovered in Florida racing greyhounds in 2004, but experts think it originally stemmed from an equine influenza strain that jumped to dogs. Meanwhile, Canine H3N2 influenza was first identified in Asia in 2006 and 2007, and likely came from an avian flu virus. It was first discovered in the U.S. in 2015 among Chicago-area dogs, and has since infected some cats as well. (As if they needed another reason to hate dogs.)

As a pet owner, there are steps you can take to protect your pup from the flu. You can get your dog vaccinated, for one—a dog flu vaccine hit the market in 2016. The two-dose shot takes a few weeks to fully kick in, and a booster shot is required each year. It's in your pet's best interest to get the shot, Moore says, as they can easily catch the flu at the groomers, the kennel, or while traveling.

If you see symptoms, you should take your pet to the vet for treatment, make sure it gets plenty of rest, and quarantine it for three to four weeks to prevent the illness from spreading. And make sure to watch out for signs of pneumonia or dehydration, which may require additional lines of treatment. One big worry, according to Dr. Moore, is that the dog will contract a secondary bacterial infection. This can be deadly, so some vets preemptively treat influenza-stricken canines with antibiotics.

You don't need to worry about yourself, though. No reports exist of humans catching canine influenza— although, since viruses are ever-morphing entities, experts don’t rule out the possibility. And if you own other dogs, your home can be sterilized with a bleach solution, although canine influenza viruses typically only survive in the environment for up to 48 hours.

[h/t Newsweek]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!