It turns out, Humans aren’t the only ones at risk of getting the influenza virus. Your furry friends could catch it, too. Influenza outbreak, it’s now affecting pets across 46 states, including Pennsylvania.
Canine influenza, or dog flu, is similar to the human flu. It travels through the air from coughing or nasal secretions and it spreads easily. it’s something that will make your furry companion miserable.
Associate Veterinarian Dr. Crystal Franklin, with the Anna Shelter, says, “areas like shelters, kennels, dog grooming, places like that are higher risk.”
Symptoms are very similar to what you would see with kennel cough, like coughing, nasal and eye discharge, excess salivation, or worst case scenario, difficulty breathing or even death. So, if you think your furry companion may be showing these flu symptoms, the best thing to do is take them to the veterinarian.
Franklin recommends to “have an exam performed. The veterinarian can then put them on medications to treat symptoms, possibly treat secondary bacterial infections, as well”.
The Anna Shelter faced a canine influenza outbreak. Kennel Supervisor Brooke Desin tells us, “we were treating for kennel cough and it just wasn’t working and finally, we did further testings and sent out blood work and we did realize that it was canine influenza.”
The shelter was forced to go into quarantine and staff had to follow strict protocols. Desin says, “It was heartbreaking to see the dogs go through it here at the shelter… It’s definitely something you do not want your dogs to get.”
Although not all clinics carry it, there is a vaccine for canine influenza to protect your furry friend. The vet stressed how easily this virus is spread between canines, so try to avoid taking your pet around large groups of dogs.