Dog flu spreading across Austin area



The Dog Flu Is Spreading Across the Country for the First Time In Years

This year, the flu has certainly taken its toll. The virus rapidly spread across the country and grew to epidemic levels, killing several young and healthy people along the way. And now there's even more bad news: The flu is affecting pets, too.

Just like their owners during flu season, dogs across the country have come down with flu-like symptoms due to widespread canine influenza. While it's a flu strain that's different than the one affecting humans (and there are no known cases of transmission), it's just as dangerous and even more contagious among dogs.

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This season, the dog influenza virus has turned up everywhere from California to Washington to Pennsylvania and even in Canada, according to Newsweek. Earlier this year, one San Francisco clinic saw 50 cases in just two weeks, and it spreading to areas that haven't seen cases of the dog flu in years—or ever.

Most recently, an Indiana veterinarian warned pet owners of another spike in flu cases. Meredith Engerski with the Allisonville Animal Hospital cautioned people to keep a watchful eye on their dogs and look for symptoms as the number of cases of canine influenza is continuing to rise in central Indiana, according to a local news station.

If it's not treated properly, the dog flu comes with a 10 percent mortality rate, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It can be fatal for cats, too. The viral infection is spread through barking, coughing, and sneezing when pets are in close contact with infected animals. It often spreads through kennels, dog shelters, groomers, and doggy day care centers.

"If the pets are unvaccinated, you definitely don't want to take them to daycare centers, kennels," Dr. Daniel Brauer, a vet at the Dayton South Veterinary Clinic, told WHIO News. "Your pet just needs to sniff it, and they will get it if they're not vaccinated."

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Dog Flu 2019

Nearly all dogs exposed to the illness become infected, and 80 percent show symptoms like coughing, lethargy, fever, decrease appetite, and a running nose. In some of the worse cases, they can even develop pneumonia. If your furry friend shows any of these symptoms, they should be taken to the vet immediately to be given medical treatment.

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You can protect your pup by disinfecting leashes, toys, water bowls, any other items that come in contact with other dogs, and by washing your hands as soon as you arrive home. And you should talk to your vet about the flu vaccine designed for canines. Experts say it's a "lifestyle vaccine" that may help, but it's not recommended for every dog.






Video: Dog flu is spreading across central Indiana; how to keep your pup safe and healthy

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Date: 18.12.2018, 16:53 / Views: 55565


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