Dog Flu
dog training

Dog Flu

Most people tend to confuse bird flu with all kinds of flu and believe that a canine that has flu is at death's door. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Dog flu is caused by a highly contagious virus. Dog flu was first seen about a year ago among racing hounds in Florida. Most of the dogs infected by Dog flu show certain common symptoms. These symptoms include, cough, cough with a runny nose, fever or pneumonia.

Cough cannot in itself be considered a symptom of dog flu. Sometimes, dogs develop cough due to kennel cough. This is just a mild infection of the respiratory tract. Dogs can be vaccinated against kennel cough, but this vaccination is no protection against the dog flu. Research indicates that a vaccine for dog flu may soon become available.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that the biggest impediment faced by dog flu patients is lack of exposure. Since this is basically a new form of disease, most dogs have not been exposed to this before. Thus, they have not developed the immunity against this disease. Not do they have any genetic or inherent immunity against dog flu. But, the good news is that most of the infected dogs seem to be suffering from the milder form of dog flu. Most patients of dog flu have been recovering within 10-25 days.

The mildest form of dog flu presents itself as a runny nose and a persistent, moist cough. A small number of dogs have also been known to suffer from the more severe form. This form of the dog flu is characterized by high fever. Pneumonia is also seen among such dog flu victims. The virus that causes dog flu destroys the lining of the respiratory tract, which acts as a natural barrier against many other kinds of bacteria. This results in pneumonia. Such dogs will need a dose of antibiotics. They may also need some intravenous liquids to give them strength. While dog flu is not deadly, some small percentage of dogs have succumbed to dog flu. Another intriguing fact is that dog flu does not necessarily strike the older or the very young dogs. Most dogs struck by dog flu seem to be in their prime.

Protecting your canine from dog flu is not very tough. Avoiding exposure is the first step in preventing dog flu. Most victims of dog flu come from pet stores, shelters or boarding kennels. It is obvious that these are places where dogs are found in very high numbers and that the living conditions in such places are often less than the best. Dog flu is highly contagious. Each cough from an infected dog effectively sprays thousands of dog flu viruses into the air. Controlling dog flu in such a situation becomes almost impossible. So, any dog that comes from such facilities should first be taken to a vet to check for dog flu.

Another way to protect your dog from dog flu is to observe and ask questions. If you need to leave your pup at the boarding kennel or with a groomer ask them about what precautionary measures they are equipped with. Find out if there have been dogs with cough or fever in the center. Observe whether they have a cell in which they can isolate any infected dogs and whether they inform dog owners about the presence of an infected dog.

Dog flu spreads through contact and through air. If you ever suspect that you have come across an infected dog, take some preliminary care to protect your dog from this disease. Wash your hands well, change your clothing and wash any object you were holding at that time. This should minimize the risk to your dog. If you ever feel that your own dog is coming down with dog flu, keep him isolated for some days. This will prevent the spread of the dog flu.

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