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Doggone dog flu
Dogs, too, can get a strain of flu just like humans.
With everyone worrying about H1N1 these days it is easy to forget about our four-legged furry friends. While our dogs cannot contract H1N1 they do have their own flu that owners should worry about.
“What, we have to get our dogs vaccinated for dog flu? I’ve never heard of anything like that,” said Boulder resident Garrett Getter had no idea that his dog could contract flu.
Luckily with treatment, the dog flu, also called kennel cough, “is essentially like saying you have a cold” explains Grace Worland, veterinarian technician at the Boulder Humane Society . Grace notes that kennel cough typically runs it’s course in seven to ten days and is not life threatening unless left untreated.
The dog flu or kennel cough is a strain of influenza A, scientifically known as H3N8 . This non-seasonal flu is known for causing upper respiratory infections in dogs and if not treated appropriately can lead to pneumonia or even death.
Loss of appetite, lethargy, greenish discharge from the eyes and nose and diarrhea are all signs that something is not right in which you should contact your veterinarian clinic.
To make sure your furry friend never experiences such symptoms though, there is a sure-fire way to protect them.
“Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. The biggest thing in prevention is vaccinating. If we can get their bodies used to seeing some of these illnesses the chances of them actually getting them and having to go through the course of the illness is very low.” Worland emphasizes.
Vaccinations typically cost around $20 with a pre-vaccine exam costing about $45. This is a small price to pay for making sure your canine is healthy and happy.
“I think the risk, benefit ratio certainly weighs out incredibly positively… on the side of the vaccinations,” Worland said.
And since this dog flu is not seasonal, like our own flu, keeping an eye out on your pooch year round is really all it takes to make sure your tail-wagger stays healthy.