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Posted on 06-30-2017
Since 2004, cases of canine influenza have been appearing around the country. In May 2017, however, a particular strain of avian flu was found in dogs in several states, including Tennessee. At Forest Hill Animal Hospital, our Germantown veterinarian stresses the importance of prevention when trying to keep pets healthy. Although canine influenza has not yet been shown to be transmitted between canines and humans, we encourage you to get the facts regarding canine influenza and learn what steps you can take to prevent your dog and other animals from falling ill.
Canine influenza presents itself with symptoms similar to influenza in humans. Its symptoms include coughing (wet or a dry cough), sneezing, watery eyes, excessive nasal mucus (this might indicate the presence of a secondary infection), lethargy, reduced appetite, and fever.
Like the human version of the flu, canine influenza is highly contagious, and can be picked up by dogs who interact with other dogs, play with the same toys as infected dogs, or visit places where infected dogs have been. The resilient canine flu virus is transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and interaction. It can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on objects for an entire day, and on human hands for at least 12 hours.
Canine influenza can be prevented by practicing good pet hygiene: wash your hands after interacting with other animals, sanitize dog toys and dishes, and keep dogs away from other animals. Although canine influenza proves fatal in less than ten percent of dogs, it can often lead to secondary infections and serious health complications for your pet.
At Forest Hill Animal Hospital, we believe prevention is the best medicine and recommend vaccination for all dogs, including dogs who do not regularly visit groomers or boarding facilities, because your pet's wellbeing is too important to risk. Contact us at (901) 754-5007 to learn more about the canine influenza vaccine.
Do you know of any dogs with the flu?
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