A new strain of dog flu is affecting countless canines, and you need to know how to protect your pets.
Varying strains of the dog flu have been circulating the country for 10 years, but the past month has seen a dramatic increase in the number of affected animals.
The newest strain making its way across states including North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana is extremely contagious and puts every breed of dog--and even cats--at risk.
According to JD News, at least two dogs have died of the flu in North Carolina, and countless others in neighboring states are ill. Signs of dog flu include coughing, sneezing, fever, loss of appetite, nasal and ocular discharge, and general fatigue.
It's sometimes misdiagnosed as kennel cough, and secondary bacterial infections can open the door to severe pneumonia.
The best way to protect your pet is to know these symptoms and monitor your dog's risk. Pet owners who notice changes in their dogs' health are encouraged to schedule appointments with their veterinarians as soon as possible.
The treatment plan usually involves a round of antibiotics and supportive veterinary care. The key to a full recovery is identifying the cause of the symptoms as soon as possible. The sooner you seek professional medical health, the better your dog's chances of fighting off the illness.
As with humans, dogs contract the flu when germs jump from animal to animal. This particular strain of dog flu is spread through close contact with infected canines. Dog parks, dog shows, and dog kennels are all places where the risk of catching the flu is increased.
If staying home isn't an option for you and your pooch, ask your veterinarian about vaccination.
Are you worried about the dog flu? Let us know in the comments.
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