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Posted on 10-28-2011

Canine Influenza: A Real Challenge

Just as humans can come down with severe and even deadly strains of influenza, so can man's best friend face the same risks from the H3N8 canine influenza virus. Here at Eagle Animal Hospital, we want to help Chester Springs pet owners recognize both the symptoms and the need to have high-risk pets vaccinated at our veterinary hospital.

Chester Springs veterinarians warn of canine influenzaThe symptoms of canine influenza bear some resemblance to those of the human variety. Your dog may have a runny nose, cough, sneeze, or run a fever. It may also exhibit signs of lethargy and show no interest in eating. The upper respiratory symptoms can become quite severe, and the overall condition may hang on for weeks. As miserable as canine influenza can make your dog, it can lead to even more serious complications such as pneumonia.

One of the most frustrating aspects of canine influenza is the fact that our veterinarians are limited to supportive care for dogs with influenza. Unlike bacterial or fungal infections which can be fought with the proper medications, canine influenza has no known treatment to simply wipe out the virus. Canine influenza is also highly contagious, even more so than the dreaded Bordetella or "kennel cough." For this reason, it is critical that you quarantine your sick pet from other pets in the household.

Our Veterinary Hospital Can Help

The USDA has licensed a vaccine called Nobivac Canine Flu H3N8 for use against canine influenza with annual vaccinations following two initial dosages. These vaccinations are typically given to dogs that tend to be in close quarters with other dogs -- frequent boarders, dogs enrolled in "doggie day care," and dogs that undergo frequent grooming -- as a smart move in support of overall pet wellness. In fact, we recommend that you vaccinate your high-risk dog against canine influenza and Bordetella at the same time.

Has your Chester Springs, Exton or Downingtown pet ever had canine influenza? Share your stories with us here!


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