Important Dog Flu Update!

by Dr. Chris

September 28, 2009 Dog flu continues to be in the news, and many people still have lots of questions about this new disease. Since it is so new, many dogs are susceptible because until recently there has not been a vaccine available. Here are some answers to the most common questions we get.

What Is Dog Flu?

Dog Flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs caused by the influenza virus, first discovered in 2004.

Is Dog Flu In My Area?

It has now been identified in over 30 states. You should contact your Veterinarian or State Veterinarian to see if there have been any outbreaks in your area.

Can My Dog Get It?

Dogs at highest risk are those that go to shelters, boarding, grooming, training, day care, and pet stores. Dogs that stay home or just for walks in the neighborhood have a very low risk of getting Dog Flu.

How Is it Transmitted?

Normally it is transmitted by direct contact or by aerosols caused by dogs coughing or sneezing. The virus can survive on some surfaces for up to 48 hours. This virus is easily killed by soap and water.

What Are The Clinical Signs?

Fever, cough, sneezing, nasal discharge. Most dogs recover in 2 to 3 weeks.

How Long Are Dogs Contagious?

Dogs are no longer contagious after 14 days of showing clinical signs.

How is it Diagnosed?

Nasal swabs and blood work is used for definitive diagnosis. You cannot tell just by looking at the dog if it is the flu or another respiratory condition.

Can Dog Flu Be Treated?

Yes, it is normally treated with just supportive care, and sometimes antibiotics.

Is There A Vaccine For Dog Flu?

Yes, In May 2009, Schering Plough got approval to sell an influenza vaccine for dogs. This vaccine won't prevent dogs from getting infected, but can help prevent the dog from getting very sick. Dogs that are at high risk in areas that have been affected are those that should consider getting vaccinated.

READ MORE POSTS HERE: Veterinary Blog.

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Informative! NEW
by: Paul

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