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While only a few confirmed reports of canine influenza (canine flu) in Alabama, other Southeastern states such as nearby Georgia and Tennessee have reported dozens of cases, with at least 6 being fatal, and Williams Animal Clinic wants you to be aware of symptoms of the disease and offer canine flu vaccines to protect your pets.
Canine Influenza (Canine Flu) Transmission
Canine influenza is spread via respiratory secretions (via coughing, barking and sneezing) and contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes) and people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.
The virus can remain alive and able to infect on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours and on hands for 12 hours.
Strands of canine influenza has been reported to infect cats (dog to cat or cat to cat) and there is some evidence that guinea pigs and ferrets can become infected.
Canine Flu Symptoms
Two clinical syndromes have been seen in dogs infected with canine influenza virus:
Mild form: Soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, sneezing, discharge from the eyes, and a thick nasal discharge.
Severe form: High fevers (104ºF to 106ºF) and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort, aside from the symptoms of the mild form.
Cats: Upper respiratory illness, such as runny nose, congestion, lip smacking, excessive salivation, lethargy, fever, and anorexia.
Please watch for any of these symptoms and alert Williams Animal Clinic if you witness any immediately.
Williams Animal Clinic in Scottsboro has canine influenza vaccines (canine flu vaccines) and anyone is welcomed to have their dog vaccinated. The dog flu vaccine does require a booster 3 weeks after the first dose and then annually.
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