Dog Flu Outbreak

Dog Flu season is upon us, make sure you're prepared to protect your pooch.
It's one of the most helpless feelings ever when you have a sick dog. You wish, if only for a moment, that your dog could speak to you and tell you what was bothering them. Sadly, that is what many Americans are now facing as the virus spreads across the country. Canine Influenza, the Dog Flu, has veterinarians booked with sniffling pooches.

In some areas the outbreak has gotten so bad that veterinarians had to quarantine their puppy-patients. In the Tampa Bay area, one vet had to hold 230 dogs in their office so they wouldn't spread the disease. According to published reports, the Hillsborough County Animal Services had to stop taking sick dogs in all together.

How Does The Virus Effect Dogs?
Dogs have no natural immunity to this virus so it can spread rapidly, which is a huge concern for pet owners. It is mainly a contagious respiratory infection which can affect types of dogs regardless of breed or age. The incubation period for Dog Flu between 2 and 5 days; most cases will appear within 2 to 3 days.

The virus is spread from contact with dogs or from sharing bones or chew toys. To keep your pooch safe this flu season, don't let him share his toys with other dogs at doggie day care or the dog park. Make sure he has his own.

Symptoms of Dog Flu
  • Dog Flu symptoms - Rough Breathing or Coughing
  • Dog Flu symptoms - Nasal Drip
  • Dog Flu symptoms - Fever
  • Dog Flu symptoms - Sneezing

If your dog has a social life at local dog parks or likes to say hello to Scruffy and Fido on his morning walk, it may be a good idea to have your dog vaccinated by a local veterinarian. Talk with your veterinarian to see if a dog flu shot is right for your pooch. The vaccination typically costs around $50.

By Sean Bowes
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