To make matters worse, it was determined that the outbreak was caused by a strain of canine influenza not previously seen in the United States. This new strain, H3N2, was thought to have originated in Asia.
For the past decade, the only known canine influenza virus type was strain H3N8. This strain of influenza has been traveling around the United States and causing outbreaks of infection for many years.
The new H3N2 strain of influenza did make its way to Minnesota and confirmed cases were found in dogs residing in Detroit Lakes and St. Paul.
Up until recently, the only canine influenza vaccine that was available was for the H3N8 strain. Westgate Pet Clinic was previously recommending vaccinating dogs for H3N8, with the hopes that it would provide some protection against the H3N2 strain.
Westgate Pet Clinic now has the H3N2 strain of influenza vaccine available. This vaccine needs to be boostered 3 weeks after the initial vaccine, and then yearly after that.
History of the Breed
The name "Shih Tzu" comes from the Chinese word for "lion dog" because this dog was bred to resemble lions that were depicted in ancient Chinese art
DNA analysis proves that the Shih Tzu is in that group of "ancient breeds" that arose in China around the time of 800BC. Other ancient breeds include the Pug, Pekingese and Lhasa Apso.
In fact, the Shih Tzu is sometimes confused with the Lhasa Apso in appearance. But be aware that the temperament of these to dogs is very different. Shih Tzu were bred to be companions and Lhasa Apso were bred to be guard dogs. Thus, the Shih Tzu tends to be friendy and playful, the Lhasa Apso tends to be more aloof and wary of strangers.
Shih Tzu come in a variety of colors and color pattern. They can be recognized by their short snout and legs, dropped ears and large dark eyes. They have hair instead of fur, which means that their hair is silky and grows continuously. This means that they do not shed very much, but they also need regular grooming and trimming. Most Shih Tzu owners will have their dogs groomed every 4-8 weeks.