The 2017 outbreak of dog flu has been devastating to many areas of the country and it seems to be spreading to somewhere new each day. The flu is transmitted via sneezes, coughs and shared water bowls and toys. Even the cute nose-touching kisses that dogs love are enough to transmit the bug!
If your pet goes to doggie day care or you spend a lot of time with them at the dog park, it is a good idea to be very aware of the symptoms of the recent dog flu. Double check with your groomer to make sure that they haven’t had any outbreaks, and avoid a trip to the vet’s office unless it is absolutely necessary. As with many aspects of pet ownership, it is often better to be safe than sorry.
Dog Flu Epidemic: What To Look For
Unfortunately, dogs can have the flu for up to ten days without showing symptoms of their illness, and yes, during this time they will be contagious. Typically, this type of illness carries a 5% mortality rate. If you learn of a breakout in your area, or somewhere where you have recently traveled with your dog, be on the lookout for:
- Nasal Discharge,
- Lethargy, and
- Lack of Appetite.
Yes, it is important to exercise an extra bit of caution, but our vets assure us that there is no need to panic! If you worry that your pup may be at a high risk of exposure, there is a dog flu vaccine available. This shot will need to be administered each year in order to keep your dog protected, and it does come in two shots. The shots are administered three weeks apart and there is a booster shot available for the ensuing years.
Bear in mind that this flu shot will not completely protect your dog from getting sick, but it will lessen the severity of the symptoms and help your pooch to recover faster from the illness.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
As with any questions about the health of your pet, it always a good idea to contact your vet’s office with any questions. If you hear about the dog flu affecting canines in your area there a few things that you can do. First of all, if possible, try to minimize your dog’s interaction with other pets and if they do go to daycare it may be a good idea to get them the flu shot. Postpone any trips to the groomers until the outbreak has died out.
Most vets do utilize a separate entrance and exam area for afflicted dogs in order to lower the chance of contagion, but if it isn’t necessary for your dog to visit the vet, it may be best to wait. Watch your dog for any symptoms and be sure to call your vet’s office immediately if you notice any changes to their overall health or if they show any symptoms.
If you are concerned that your pet may have been exposed to the recent outbreak of dog flu, please contact sunsurfvet.com to schedule an appointment.