As flu season starts up for us humans, have you considered your dogs getting the canine influenza?
Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection that struck dogs throughout the United States. Currently there were no confirmed cases in Tennessee, however it has reached 7 out of the 9 states that border Tennessee.
At this point the virus has proven to be more contagious rather than fatal, with a mortality rate of about 5%. Almost any dog that is exposed to the disease, with is spread through coughing and sneezing, will catch it because they have no natural immunity to this new virus. About 80% of infected dogs show symptoms, however most will recover within 2 weeks with no complications. Symptoms to look for include a cough, sneezing, and discharge from the nose and eye.
So should you be concerned for your dogs? At this point the average house dog is probably at low risk. However if your dogs are exposed to rescue dogs or lots of dogs with limited health care you should consider the vaccination. It is important to note that the vaccination does not prevent the illness. It only lessons the symptoms. It also requires two treatments to insure complete immunity is developed.