Our dogs are not just pets that we keep in our homes, they are key members of our families. That is why we need to remain vigilant when it comes to keeping them safe. The unconditional love that our dogs have to offer is what makes them so special. It is also why our hearts break when we see that our pets are starting to become sick. Many of us do not realize that our dogs are especially susceptible to certain illnesses.
Dogs are actually able to catch the flu and as owners, it is our responsibility to make sure that our animals remain safe. Unfortunately, the number of dog flu cases that are currently taking place are on the rise. Every state except North Dakota and Nebraska has experienced an outbreak of some kind. The virus is new and this keeps a dog from being able to successfully fight it off on their own.
It does not matter how healthy your dog may be currently and the virus spreads between dogs rapidly. Because of the increased number of cases, more and more facilities are now asking pet owners to provide proof of vaccination. Dogs that have not been vaccinated against this illness are not being allowed to stay at certain kennels or attend certain obedience schools.
Owners should vaccinate their dogs against both of the strains that are currently in circulation (H3N2 and H3N8). Even if a dog is not displaying any symptoms at the present time, they may still be experiencing this flu. A human who has come into contact with a dog that has the virus could even pass it to another dog if they are not careful enough.
If the dog is lethargic, has a fever of at least 103 degrees and is coughing on a consistent basis, these are all signs that we need to look out for. A loss of appetite and a runny nose are also signs that we need to remain aware of. These symptoms often worsen with time and owners must take their pets to the animal hospital as soon as they start to reveal themselves.
Do not worry, though. Even if the dog contracts this flu, the animal is probably going to be okay. At least 90 percent of all dogs are able to experience a full recovery if their symptoms are given the proper treatment. Be sure to vaccinate and bring your dog to the vet at the first sign of an issue.