The flu is affecting dogs

January 24, 2018 07:11 PM

A couple of weeks ago, this young Doberman Pinscher was a very different dog.  Cuse had zero energy.  He was sneezing and had a cough.  He just wasn't his normal happy self.

"He wasn't excited or anything.  He was kind of moping around," said owner Aric Wambach.  "He didn't really do much, just lay there.  He didn't want to do anything."

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Wambach says the 10-month-old dog had all the signs and symptoms of the flu.

Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease.  The first of two known strains in the United States was first reported in 2003.

We spoke to Dr. Richard Germano of the Animal Health Center in Clifton Park about the symptoms.

"Nasal discharge, kind of coughing, retching, depression, lethargy-- common cold signs that we have," he said. "But you have to watch also appetite.  Are they dealing with it or are they getting more depressed like it's taking over their body and they're really succumbing to the signs?"

It's not seasonal, which means it could affect dogs anytime throughout the year.

Cases are popping up in at least five states and counting.

"We recommend vaccines for dogs that are at risk," said Dr. Germano.  "The dogs that have boarding, day care, go to dog parks-- things with a lot of socialization."

Dr. Germano says you can't get the flu from your dog, and you can't give it to them either.

Wambach gave Cuse plenty of rest, and a lot of fluids.

"I kind of treated him like a little kid.  Gave him chicken noodle soup.  Didn't let him hang outside too much.  He slept a lot," he said.

The TLC worked.  Cuse is back up and running;  the spring is back in his step.

Dr. Germano says the best thing is to bring your dog to the vet because smaller and older dogs can get dehydrated pretty quickly.

More information:

Canine influenza info and prevention tips


Kumi Tucker

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