Q: Louisville is being slammed with cases of dog flu. I have been keeping my dogs on my property, but I know we are visited by coyotes and foxes at times. I vaccinated my dogs two years ago and then again this year. I’m also the former president of WAGS, a pet therapy group and currently an evaluator or pet teams. I followed your discussion/advice regarding dog flu, and set up a plan for myself and WAGS. Are coyotes and fox susceptible to dog flu, and could they spread it? —P.M., Louisville, Kentucky
A: That’s a great question, and it seems there is no great answer. I checked with several veterinarians who concur that, in theory, wild canine species could be susceptible to the canine influenza virus (dog flu). But, no sick wolves, coyotes, or foxes have been diagnosed with the virus. Consider that, while their exposure exists, it’s minimal, because dogs and wild canines have few interactions where they get close enough to spread the virus back and forth. And if a wolf, coyote, or fox is sneezing in the forest, who’s around the hear it?
Indeed there is dog flu in Louisville, and, in my personal opinion, vaccination is indeed the right thing to do.