Disclosure: Today’s post is a part of the Insider’s Program on Bloggy Moms. All opinions are my own.
I’d like to introduce you to the littlest member of our family, Maggie. You may have seen her in a few other KLY posts but usually she is moving so fast that I can’t get much more than a white blur in my photos. Maggie tends to go at top speed or be sleeping, not too much in between.
Maggie is truly a member of our family and we want her to be healthy. I remember last year hearing scary stories about a dog flu. Do you? Do you know what it is? Last year – a new strain of the dog flu was found – H3N2 – and it caused numerous outbreaks in 2015, not only impacting dogs and their owners but also causing local business closures and inundating veterinary clinics.
It is sadly, still around. There are new cases now being diagnosed in 2016. It is critically important that dog owners have the information they need to protect their pets and other pets they may come in contact with because CIV, the dog flu, is highly contagious.
Especially in urban areas, the dog flu can spread at an alarming rate, especially through doggie daycares, boarding facilities, dog parks, and sporting events. The dog flu is a problem all year round, but during the summer months our pets are outdoors more often and more likely to encounter other dogs if they are social.
- Close to 100 percent of dogs are naïve to the new H3N2 dog flu strain and have no natural immunity to it, meaning virtually all exposed dogs become infected.
- By the time CIV begins to spread in an area, it may be too late. Prevention is the best approach. Dog owners should speak to their veterinarian about whether the dog flu vaccine should be added to their dog’s vaccination protocol. To learn more, visit www.doginfluenza.com.
What can we do? Merck Animal Health launched a multi-city, “If This Dog Could Talk” tour in collaboration with Elias Weiss Freidman, creator of renowned photo-documentary series The Dogist, to raise awareness of the dog flu. The campaign will visit local dog parks in Chicago, Atlanta and Charlotte— three areas of the country impacted by canine influenza outbreaks in the last year— to provide a forum for pet owners to get critical information about canine influenza, outbreaks in their area, guidance on how to protect dogs from this highly infectious disease and the importance of prevention. Attend the “If This Dog Could Talk” events where pet owners will also have the opportunity to meet and have their dogs photographed by The Dogist, while also learning important canine health information from local veterinarians.
- July 23: Lake Shore East Park at 450 E. Benton Place, Chicago, IL 60601
- August 13: Freedom Barkway at 523 Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
- September 24: Frazier Park at 1201 W Trade St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Those who are unable to attend an event are encouraged to support the campaign to raise awareness of canine influenza by posting photos of their dogs on Twitter using #IfThisDogCouldTalk and tagging @MerckAH. Select photos could also be featured in The Dogist e-book.