Here’s What You Need To Know About The Dog Flu

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Thousands of dogs across America have been affected by dog flu since April 2015 and it seems that the influenza virus will continue to spread even faster in the weeks to come, according to the American Veterinary Association (AVMA).

Jim Evermann, a professor of infectious diseases at the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, said in a press release that the groups of dogs that are at the highest risk of getting canine flu are the oldest and the youngest pooches, as well as those that already suffer from other health problems.

Since it is currently estimated that the virus has found its way to more than 40 states, Evermann advises dog owners to check with their vets if their dogs’ vaccines are up-to-date, including canine distemper, canine parvovirus and canine adenovirus.

Despite the fact that the AVMA reports that fewer than 10 percent of dogs succumb to the dog flu, there are numerous complications that can lead to death as well. Most healthy dogs make a full recovery in two weeks, but things get more complicated when it comes to those vulnerable groups of dogs because they might get pneumonia.

It’s important to note that there are mild and severe cases of canine flu. The first features symptoms such as coughing, lack of appetite, low energy levels, sneezing and nose discharge while the latter is characterized by high fever (104 F. or more) and the development of secondary bacterial infection, which could lead to pneumonia.

Here’s how you can protect your dog from canine influenza:

  • Vaccinate your dog before the beginning of the flu season.
  • During the epidemic, it’s best that you keep your dog away from other dogs.
  • After spending time with other dogs, make sure to wash your hands because humans can easily transfer the virus to dogs.
  • It’s best to change your clothes after interacting with other dogs since the virus can survive on fabrics for up to one day.
  • If you have two or more dogs and one of them gets sick, you have to isolate them in order to keep your other animals safe.
  • Take your pooch to the vet as soon as they start showing any symptoms of dog flu. The sooner they get treatment, the greater their chances of making a full recovery.
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