Health authorities voice their concern over the recent dog influenza epidemic which swept the United States. According to the reports, over 46 states have reported flu-like symptoms, prompting dog owners to vaccinate or isolate their canines in order to prevent then flue from spreading even further.
What is Dog Influenza?
Dog Influenza or canine flu is an infectious disease caused by the H3N8 virus (Influenza Type A). Historically speaking, the first instance of this disease has been discovered in 2004 in Florida.
Similar to the human version, dog influenza has a multi-vectored transmission from airborne, dog to dog or entering into contact with various contaminated objects.
What Are the Symptoms of Dog Influenza?
Dog influenza has an incubation period of a few days and, depending on its forms; the symptoms can last for at least ten days or more. The tell-tale signs of dog flu are sneezing, coughing, runny nose, anorexia (depending on the severity), fever if it turns into pneumonia and a malaise.
If your dog displays any of these symptoms, you should consider taking it to the vet as soon as possible.
According to the vets, the best dog flu prevention method is to stay away from places where other dogs might be, especially during the epidemic. Dog parks and boarding houses are perfect breeding ground for the flu virus.
The flu vaccine is another way of making sure that your dog doesn’t catch the flu. However, if your canine presents dog influenza-related symptoms, your vet might prescribe antibiotics along with cough suppressants. Additional tests might be ordered in order to establish the exact viral strain.
For the time being, the vets cautioned the general population to stay away from doggie boarding houses and crowded dog parts in order to minimize the chance of contagion.
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