Posted on 2010-02-05 15:29:59
THE FACTS ABOUT CANINE INFLUENZA
Canine influenza is a strain of the influenza A virus that is highly contagious and causes acute respiratory infection.
It does not infect people.
Your dog may contract the virus if it comes in contact with a dog that is currently infected.
The virus can be passed by direct contact (coughing, sneezing) or indirectly on surfaces, on clothing
and on the hands of people who handle infected dogs.
The virus can be killed with soap and water; after touching an infected pet, wash your hands and change your clothes.
Dogs of any age, breed or health status are susceptible to infection. If your dog spends time in a boarding
facility, dog park, training class, day-care center, pet store, or gets bathed or groomed on a regular basis,
it is concidered at risk for the flu. Virtually all dogs exposed become infected; about 80% develop flu-like
illness, while another 20% do not become ill. Most dogs will recover within two to three weeks; others will
develop a life-threatening pneumonia.
Signs of canine influenza include: cough, sneezing, nasal discharge, listlessness, decreased appetite
and occassionally a low-grade fever.
Lakeside Animal Hospital does offer the canine influenza vaccine for the protection of your pet. The vaccine
does not prevent infection but largely reduces the severity and duration of the illness.
If you suspect that your dog may have been exposed to, or has contracted canine influenza, please contact us
for an appointment. PLEASE let the receptionist know at the time that you set up your appointment and at the time
that you arrive that you suspect the flu- the virus is highly contagious and special precautions will need to be taken
to protect the other dogs from exposure.
(sources: theTeam "Canine Influenza: Know the Facts:" winter 2010, vol.7, No.1)
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