Questions for Dr. Shawn - Dog Flu
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”I believe in keeping you informed with the latest developments in veterinary medicine. Here is some information on a new disease which has just started appearing in dogs.
Veterinarians have discovered a new, highly contagious airborne canine flu virus which is spreading across the U.S. Dogs are not immune to it and there is currently no vaccine. The virus apparently mutated from an influenza strain that affects horses and has most immediately infected racing greyhounds in seven states including Texas. According to immunologists, the virus can be spread anywhere that dogs cohabitate and even dogs passing on the street.
This disease, like 'Kennel Cough', can cause coughing and gagging for up to three weeks, but dogs with canine flu may spike fevers as high as 106 degrees and have runny noses. Dogs with kennel cough usually do not run fevers or run low grade fevers (102-103 degrees.) As with kennel cough, a few dogs will develop pneumonia; unlike kennel cough, some of these pneumonias can be fatal. While there is currently no vaccine for the canine flu, one could be developed if needed. Supportive care, which may reduce the incidence and severity of pneumonia, include antibiotics and fluid therapy. Additionally, using immune boosting supplements will help the pet fight the infection.
The best way to prevent the disease is to minimize exposure to horses and infected dogs. Feeding a good diet and strengthening the immune system through supplementation will also help. So far, we’ve not seen any local cases.
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