Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun

Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun
The Big Dogs Wait at The Door

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Canine Influenza

A relatively new disease, canine influenza was first reported in Florida in 2004, but has now spread to 30 states and the district of Columbia.  Most dogs have no natural immunity to it because it is a newcomer on the infectious virus scene.  It's transmitted by direct contact, like licking and nuzzling; and through the air via coughs or sneezes.  Your dog can also get it as a result of contact with contaminated surfaces, such as the hands or clothing of a person or the coat of another dog.  So if your dog is exposed to a multi-dog setting (daycare, kennel, dog park, dog classes), you should talk to your veterinarian ASAP.  There is a vaccine, but only your vet can advise you as to whether you should vaccinate your pup.

The symptoms of canine influenza are a lot other respiratory diseases: cough, nasal discharge, watery eyes, loss of energy and/or appetite.    
However, the canine influenza cough can be persistent and sometimes leads to pneumonia, which can be fatal.  The vaccine should be administered along with a bordatella (kennel cough) vaccine.  Neither of the two preventatives can protect your dog from 100% of respiratory diseases, but together they go a long way; and if  your dog does develop kennel cough or canine influenza, he or she is likely to have a milder case than an unvaccinated dog.

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