Achoo: How To Prevent Your Dog From Getting The Flu!

dog cold flu winter

Humans are not the only ones sniffling this flu’s season. Man’s best friend has been hit hard by dog flu also known as Canine Influenza. Pet parents can breathe a sigh of release as Center for Disease Control and Prevention has no reports of any strain being interspecies. Unfortunately the virus is as prolific as our version. It has been tracked in over 30 states in the past few months and  almost every dog that come across the disease becomes infected. If your dog has been to any place where large amount of dogs have gathered you should always check if they may have been infected.

These are a few symptoms to look for if you suspect your dog is infected.

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Fever

Unfortunately the flu can be mistaken for another common disease, Kennel cough.“The most accurate test recommended for confirmation of infection requires the collection of a small blood sample from the dog during the first week of illness, followed by collection of another sample 10 to 14 days later. The paired serum samples are submitted to a diagnostic laboratory for measurement of antibodies to CIV that were formed in response to infection.” Dr. Cynda Crawford.

Here are some quick tips to save your dog from the dreaded sniffles.

  1. Check with your local veterinarian to see if there is an outbreak in your area
  2. Be on the lookout for strange behavior or discharge from your dog
  3. If you are aware that an outbreak is in your area. It’s better safe than sorry and keep your pet at home.
  4. Vaccinate your dog against the flu if it’s constantly meeting new dogs
  5. Cheap is not always good. Be wary of pet services that have dirty facilities or check reviews.
  6. Always take it seriously. Secondary infections is what turns the flu fatal.

*Dr. Cynda Crawford is a clinical assistant professor in the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville.

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