Veterinarians are Warning Pet Owners of the Dog Flu

Some Southern states, including Georgia, have seen cases of dog flu.

It’s the same viral strain that killed five dogs in the Chicago area back in 2015.

Veterinarians want all pet owners to be aware of symptoms of the disease and act quickly.

Especially if you are going on a family trip with your dog to either Georgia, Florida or Tennessee where cases have been confirmed.

For first time dog owner Robert Hines, his little Vizsla, Mayor, keeps him very active and with Mayor still being a puppy, her health is his number one priority.

Especially with the dog flu present in places he vacations too.

“With our checkups at the vet, I’m hoping they would be able to pinpoint it. Even if they didn’t, as soon as she would show signs of being sick, then I would take her to my vet and get her a vaccine,” said Hines.

If your dog is coughing, sneezing, or you see some nasal and eye discharge, those are signs of the flu.

“Because it is contagious, it can be deadly as well. So, if you see any of these signs take your pet to the vet right away,” said Dr. Katie Rhue, Emergency & Critical Care Veterinarian Resident with the Auburn University Animal Hospital.

Dr. Rhue said it’s so contagious it can be transferred from one dog to another by simply one dog coughing and the other dog inhaling particles from the cough.

“If they develop severe pneumonia, they can actually require oxygen therapy. So, while there isn’t any medication we can give directly to treat the flu, it’s more supporting them in trying to prevent any secondary bacteria infections and make sure they can breathe comfortably on their own to make it through the virus,” said Dr. Rhue.

And like us, our pets need flu shots as well, so get them annually like you would with your family. You also cannot catch the flu from your dog.

“It does not prevent your pet from getting it, but decreases the likelihood of severity if your pet is exposed to K9 influenza and especially with a lot of traveling during the summer that would be a good idea to get your pet vaccinated,” said Dr. Rhue.

Dr. Rhue said the flu is new in dogs and just started showing up within the past couple of years. Thankfully, it’s not in Alabama yet, but she said with it being in our surrounding states and with all the traveling families are doing, she wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up soon.

So, she definitely recommends getting your dog vaccinated for k9 influenza now.


Categories: Alabama News