Bird flu, swine flu, MRSA, the Zombie apocalypse… in this internet age, we are constantly bombarded with warnings of the biological downfall of civilization. But if you’re like me, I never take the panic to heart, however real the threat may or may not be. (If I catch the flu, it’s nothing some OJ, chicken soup, and Aleve can’t fix, right mom?)
But a virus that could attack my beloved furry soul mate Pumpkin the dog? Now that’s serious business! So as the canine flu outbreak in the Midwest reaches “near epidemic levels,” here’s what you need to know to keep your four-legged buddies safe in Chicago-land and beyond.
WHAT IS DOG FLU?
Dog flu, (AKA canine influenza H3N8) is a virus originally found in horses that attacks the respiratory system. Our equine buds have over 40 years experience battling the bug, but it didn’t reach the pup population until 2004. We don’t know exactly how the virus spread, but we’ll just say: safety first, friends… and leave it at that.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DOG FLU?
Although there are tell-tail signs your dog might be ill (including coughing, sneezing, fever, nasal discharge, lethargy, and lack of appetite) veterinarian Terry Medinger of the VCA Aurora Animal Hospital says symptoms aren’t always obvious after exposure. Your pup might not exhibit obvious symptoms for up to 10 days, but that doesn’t mean he or she isn’t contagious.
Read the rest at: http://barkpost.com