Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Flu Season for Dogs!

As the flu season arrives, people are rushing off to their family doctor or nearest drug store to get a flu shot that will hopefully help make the winter days more bearable to survive. Among the busyness, however, people tend to not realize that their furry little friends can catch a cold or the dog flu as well.

Although this may not happen as often as it does for humans, dogs too can get sick from their own form of flu virus or a respiratory inflection. Some symptoms that may suggest such an illness for your mutts include a low fever, running nose, a consistent cough, and/or just feeling down and lack of energy. Most of the time dogs can contract the sickness from boarding kennels, animal shelters, the doggie daycare, or the dog park since that's where they come in the most contact with other mutts. Dogs of old age and certain breeds like flat-faced mutts are also more susceptible to doggie colds and flu. 

While a minor cold or flu may not cause too much damage to your mutts, not helping them recover to their normal healthy state can lead to other major issues. If left untreated, a cold or the flu can create a secondary infection like pneumonia which can be deadly for dogs. So if you suspect any type of infection or sickness, talk to your trusted vet for advise and possibly some prescribed antibiotics for your mutts.

There are dog flu shots that may be available for your mutts if you think they really need them (again, talk to your trusted vet). The shots don't guarantee that your dogs won't get sick - they just lessen the severity of the illness. Otherwise, for a minor cold or flu, make sure your dogs get plenty of rest and fluid.

Keep your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!

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