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If This Dog Could Talk
In my town last year we got hit really bad with the dog flu. Many of my friends who had dogs that either went to the dog parks or were in doggie daycare had a dog come down with it.
Many people may not know what the dog flu is and the common causes. I know I didn’t until my friends dogs were exposed. 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. With new cases now being diagnosed in 2016, it’s critically important that dog owners have the information they need to protect their pets.
CIV, more commonly referred to as the dog flu, is highly contagious and can spread quickly in urban areas, doggie daycares, boarding facilities, dog parks, and sporting events. What I didn’t know is that the dog flu is a problem all year round especially when our pets are outdoors more often and more likely to encounter other dogs if they are social. Here I thought I only had to worry about my kids getting the flu!
Merck Animal Health launched the 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 tour 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 place for pet owners to get critical information about canine influenza, outbreaks in their area, learn how to protect dogs from this highly infectious disease and the importance of prevention.
- 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.
If This Dog Could Talk Events:
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 4th Street 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.
By tweeting a photo, you are allowing Intervet Inc., d/b/a Merck Animal Health (“Merck Animal Health”) to use it at its sole discretion, including for marketing materials developed by Merck Animal Health. Once published, it will be available for viewing by any other person for as long as the published materials are in circulation.