We all hate to get sick, especially when it's the flu. That achy feeling accompanied by stomach upset and extreme fatigue is enough to get even the strongest of us down. It's especially disturbing when it hits children and the elderly, but what about our pets? Yes, animals can get a form of the flu, and this season dogs are having a really difficult time of it.
Besides a particularly nasty strain of the flu virus hitting humans this year, a highly-contagious form of canine influenza containing two different strains has recently been confirmed for dogs in at least 46 states. Dogs, unfortunately, have no known natural immunity to either of these strains and the spread of it is not limited to the winter season, as with most human incidences.
Veterinarians have declared that this new version of the dog flu is extremely dangerous, as it's more severe and can lead to fatalities if not treated promptly and properly. Due to this, if you suspect your dog is suffering from it, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian and bring your dog in for a checkup immediately.
2018 Dog Flu Symptoms
The symptoms for this aggressive form of the flu are said to be similar to kennel cough. They include a high fever, lethargy, a loss of appetite, cough and a runny nose — pretty much the same thing we go through. The only difference is they can't complain and whimper about it like we do, so you need to be vigilant in noticing these symptoms.
Reportedly, dogs can contract the virus through a number of ways, such as direct contact, air, and contaminated objects, e.g., shared toys, bowls, and even human touch. This means you might want to limit their interaction with other dogs, especially in public places like dog parks.
Also, keep a close eye on them during walks, when they're prone to long stops to sniff light poles and fire hydrants, and if you have a chain-link fence versus a privacy fence. Dogs on the other side of it may be carrying it.
Veterinarian Jennifer Bonovich stated, “Some cases do require hospitalization and it can cost several thousand dollars.” The good news is, with proper and prompt treatment most dogs are surviving.
Remember, our pets count on us to take care of them. Don't let this one slip past the gate.