Sunday, January 10, 2010

DOG FLU - DO YOU KNOW THE SIGNS OF CANINE INFLUENZA?


DOG FLU Yes, dogs can get the flu, but fortunately not the H1N1 virus that's been getting so much attention lately. Similar to the human form, canine flu is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs which is thought to be a mainly airborne virus, most likely transmitted by an infected dog coughing or sneezing on another. In otherwise healthy dogs, statistics show that the canine flu is a fairly mild disease with most dogs recovering completely in two to three weeks. So, what are the symptoms you should watch for in your dog?

Persistent, moist cough [including sneezing]

Low-grade fever

Nasal discharge

How can you help avoid exposure for your dog? Here are some common-sense tips for prevention and avoiding exposure:

Watch for news of canine influenza outbreaks in your area

Use dog parks, grooming facilities, and kennels that you know well - contact them in advance to a visit if there is an outbreak in your area to inquire about any recent occurrences of respiratory illnesses in dogs in their care

Avoid contact with other dogs displaying any of the symptoms above, especially coughing/sneezing

If your dog is exhibiting symptoms, contact your veterinarian - they are best qualified and equipped to make a diagnosis.If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of canine flu, contact your veterinarian for an evaluation. Want to know more? Check back tomorrow for an article by Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM

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