Dog Flu in Washington State



Pet owners across the country should be on high-alert, there’s a new, highly-contagious, and dangerous strain of dog flu that has spread across the United States over the past year and there is no sign of it being contained anytime soon.
A RAPIDLY TRAVELING VIRUS .    The AVMA, or American Veterinary Medical Association, states that it all began in the Windy City of Chicago last year, when the new canine influenza strain moved so quickly through shelters that it caused mass closings in an attempt to keep it under control.
The Paws Chicago pet hospital says that they had to treat over 300 dogs who came in with canine influenza and place them with temporary caregivers to regain their health. Vets know how hard it is to contain and protect dogs from the effects of dog flu. A dog’s immune system is much less resilient than a human’s, their ability to filter out foreign agents is just not as efficient.
Chicago is the first place to have discovered the virus, but there are at least 25 other states that are actively fighting it today. With how fast it is traveling, though, that number could actually be up to 40 states. Wherever you live, you should be taking as much precaution as you can with your dog.
All dog owners across the country can arm themselves with knowledge and precautionary actions to keep their pets safe. Always keep your dog’s physical exams current, if your dog is suffering from a pre-existing condition that you are unaware of, it can leave them more vulnerable to canine influenza, if they were to contract it.
AVMA says that less than ten percent of dogs will die from the flu, but even more can die from illnesses, such as pneumonia, that are exasperated by the flu’s weakening of the body’s immune system. It goes without saying that older and younger dogs will be at the most risk of succumbing to this virus.
Most dogs who become infected by this flu strain will immediately exhibit a bad cough, loss of appetite, fever, and lethargy. Coughing is usually accompanied by runny nose and sneezing from constant irritation of the nasal cavities. If this mucous becomes opaque or viscous, your dog’s immune system is unable to fight off bacterial infection and must get help from antibiotics.
More severe stages of the flu include respiratory infections, heightened fever, and pneumonia. Older flu vaccines from previous strains are an option for proactive defense, but they do not provide full protection, of course.
If you somehow believe there is a possibility of this canine influenza hopping species and spreading to humans, there are no signs of that ever happening. Those kinds of mutations are freakishly rare and generally only exist in older strains that hang around for generations until the game of chance results in a new super-virus. It’s better to be safe than sorry, in regards to your dog, though. If you think your dog’s cold could possibly be early signs of the flu, take them to the vet and have them checked out. Make sure your dog is eating raw, nutrient-dense foods to keep their immune system in top shape. Dogs get infections much more frequently when they are on diets that rely on processed and canned foods.

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