According to Capital Wired the new strain, known as H3N2, has been recorded in over 24 states in the US. Spreading this far has resulted in many day care centers for dogs to close down temporarily as veterinarians try to contain the disease.
Huewire reports that what is even more troubling is how the disease is transferred. A dog infected with H3N2 can give it to another dog, just like influenza in humans. But people can also be a carrier and transfer the disease to dogs as well.
And just like the human flu, the symptoms of H3N2 include lethargy, trouble breathing, coughing, difficulty eating, or loss of appetite. Some good news though is that the disease isn't fatal, and if it is spotted right away can be cured relatively quickly.
"If we see them early and get them on preventative antibiotics, they do really well," said Dr. Jennifer Luke to CBS8.com.
Dr. Luke, who works with the Tierrasanta Veterinary Hospital in San Diego, has seen plenty of these cases, and while H3N2 is not fatal she advises that pet owners get their furry friends vaccinated as soon as possible due to the severity of the disease.
"This one is highly contagious and hangs on for a long time. These dogs are contagious for up to 24 days," said Dr. Luke.