Dog Flu

Dear Liz,

It seems like the word flu is in every headline I see or hear.   I’m going to get my flu shot, but is there anything I can do to keep Fido healthy?

Signed,

Fido with a Fever

Dear Fido;

Well, apparently the flu season is fast approaching and everyone’s scrambling for what vaccinations to give.  The H1N1 vs the “normal” flu seems to be the topic of conversation and debate.  Should one get ONE or both?  The debate continues…

In the doggie world, apparently there is a similar debate going on!  There is a “dog flu” that has been discovered in some states (not in CT as of yet) and veterinarians are debating as to whether or not a vaccination is needed.

The dog flu (only transmissible from dog to dog, by the way) has been making its way north for a bit but hasn’t reached here yet.  Symptoms pretty much mirror those of the human flu and can be spread from dog to dog in social situations.

Now I don’t know of any reported deaths from the flu but I’m sure there will be one or two at some point involving dogs with lowered or weakened immune systems.  From what I understand, it’s a basic flu and pretty much runs its course.

There is a vaccine available for this dog flu but unless your dog is in close contact with other dogs, I’m not so sure it’s necessary.  Let’s face it – We now have vaccinations for SO many different illnesses, I have to wonder if we’re over-doing it a bit.  Best bet, though, is to discuss it with your veterinarian and see what he or she recommends for your dog.

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