Thursday, September 4, 2014

Canine flu in Manhattan

During the past few weeks veterinarians in Manhattan have noted a number of cases of canine influenza, and they're warning humans to be careful when letting furry friends meet other dogs. The virus is airborne, and if a dog is coughing, your dog probably shouldn't say hello.

Canine flu is similar to regular flu, but doesn't affect humans. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, fever, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. Light cases might only get a cough, but severe cases can develop pneumonia.

The Canine Influenza Virus is relatively new and highly contagious, and most dogs don't have any resistance to it. Nearly 100% of exposed dogs get the flu, but a small percentage might not show visible symptoms. Dogs of any breed and age can catch it. If you think your dog has it, keep it isolated and call your vet.

There is no specific cure for the influenza, but there is a vaccine, so if you want to be on the safe side you might want to contact your vet and discuss having your dog vaccinated. This would be especially important for dogs who meet many other dogs. The vaccine doesn't always prevent the flu, but it diminishes symptoms.

The Canine Influenza Virus was first discovered in Florida, and is believed to have spread over the country with visitors returning home. It has been identified in 30 states.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

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