Recently, there has been a good deal of discussion about H1N1, otherwise known as the Swine Flu, and how to avoid it or care for people who have become infected. This issue recently became personal for me, as one of my close friends was diagnosed shortly after spending a weekend getaway together with myself and several other friends! In my concerns about whether I might be infected as well, I took a look on the Internet to see what, if any, risk there may be to our petes from this quickly-spreading virus.
As it turns out, there is a current canine flu that parallels H1N1; however, it was first discovered in 2004 when an episode of greyhound fatalities at a dog racetrack in Florida was investigaed. About 80% of dogs show observable symptoms when infected, with a low fatality rate unless complications develop, such as pneumonia. Symptoms of the mild form include a cough that lasts for ten to thirty days and possibly a greenish nasal discharge - more severe cases involve a high flu and secondary bacterial infections.
Treatment for the Canine Flu is similar to that of humans; bring your dog to your local as soon as possible if you suspect infection, and inform the vet that your pet may be contagious. Avoid contact with other dogs if possible until he is symptom-free. Check with your vet for a more precise estimate, and make sure your furry friend gets plenty of rest and TLC! Oh, and by the way, Canine Flu cannot be transmitted to humans.
Our featured pet this week is Lucky, a Husky/Collie mix who has a great personality and lots of energy for games and morning runs! Lucky is a gentle fellow despite his enthusiastic attitude, and would be a great addition to any home. One thing we recommend is installing an enclosed yard or invisible fencing - this saucy fellow loves to explore on his own and may play a good game of catch-as-catch-can. Lucky would love to meet you and go for a walk, or a jog, to get acquainted!