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Dog Flu - Tips for Protecting Your Dog From Illness

 by petbucket on 05 Aug 2015 |
2 Comment(s)
Canine influenza, popularly known as "dog flu," has become a growing concern among dog owners who haven't heard of the illness and aren't sure how to protect their pets. Some areas of the country have seen wide outbreaks of the illness, with some dogs becoming very ill from the disease. Here are a few facts you should know about "dog flu". 
 
What Is Canine Influenza?
Dog flu is a respiratory disease that is caused by virus transmission. Canine influenza is much like human influenza in that it can be transmitted from animal to animal and can cause serious complications. Two different pathogens transmit dog flu, the H3N8 virus and the H3N2 virus. The disease can cause severe respiratory illness and expensive veterinary bills to treat the animal.
 
What Are the Symptoms of Dog Flu?
Dog flu symptoms are similar to human influenza symptoms. However, some dogs will not have any symptoms. The dog may exhibit:
 
· Runny nose
 
· Fever
 
· Loss of appetite
 
· Lethargy, fatigue
 
· Severe cough that can worsen and develop into pneumonia
 
How Is Dog Flu Spread?
Any dog can get dog flu, but it is most common in environments where large numbers of dogs are together, such as in kennels or animal shelters. Doggie day care facilities and dog parks are other places where dogs can come into contact with infected animals. The dogs may come into contact with respiratory secretions spread by sneezing or coughing. Dogs can also get the disease from contaminated objects, such as water bowls or dog toys. You should keep your dog away from any dog that has a runny nose or cough to prevent contagion.
 
Can People the Flu From Their Dogs?
No cases of transmission of this type of flu have made the leap from canine species to human species. However, influenza viruses are notoriously adaptive. The H3N2 virus has adapted from birds to dogs and has also infected cats. The H3N8 virus leapt from horses to dogs. If evidence of transmission is seen, public health agencies and veterinarians will alert pet owners to inform them about what new precautions should be taken.
 
Is There A Test For Dog Flu?
A test for canine influenza virus is available to help owners determine if their dog has been exposed to the viruses.
 
How is Dog Flu Treated?
Veterinary treatment for dog flu involves supportive care to relieve severe coughing and prevent secondary infection of the lungs. Dogs may require attention to fluid intake and may have difficulty eating.
 
Is There A Vaccine For Dog Flu?
An approved vaccine against the H3N8 virus is available. However, it is not known whether this vaccine will protect against H3N2 virus infection. Ask your veterinarian if the vaccine will be helpful for dogs in your area of the country.
 
How Can I Protect My Dog From Getting Dog Flu?
If an outbreak occurs in your community, stay away from dog parks and other areas where large groups of dogs make it easy to transmit the disease. If you encounter an animal that may be sick, take your dog away from the area. If you have multiple dogs, isolate sick individuals from the others until you are certain of the cause of the illness.
 
Common sense precautions can help to protect your dog in areas where canine influenza has become widespread. Talk to your veterinarian about further actions you can take to keep your dog well and thriving.

Comment(s)2

Robert Hendren - Comment
Robert Hendren07 Aug 2015Reply
My dog sneezes and coughs when he drinks water
Coral - Comment
Coral10 Aug 2015Reply
In what country is this article referring to?

yunus - Comment
yunus10 Aug 2015Reply
This post is referring to North America
Coral - Comment
Coral10 Aug 2015Reply
Thank you

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