Sunday, December 28, 2014


Elizabeth Rozanski, DVM, a specialist in emergency and critical care at the Cummings
School, has this advice for owners worried about canine influenza:
“Don’t panic. The flu in people and dogs has high morbidity - many get sick - but it
has very, very low mortality.”As of this writing, outbreaks of the virus, which began in horses and crossed to racing Greyhounds and other dogs, have been identified in a half dozen states, including
Florida, New York and Washington. Few deaths from complications, such as pneumonia,
have been reported.However, owners should limit their dog’s exposure the same as they would with any other infectious disease, Dr. Rozanski said. “Avoid high volume boarding kennels and
pet store puppies. Very old, very young dogs and immunosuppressed dogs - from chemotherapy, diabetes or prednisone - are at risk. Dog parks should be fine. They tend to
cater to dog lovers who take good care of their dogs.”
The signs are coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge and loss of appetite. Treatment                              consists of supportive care. Assessing the public health impact, Dr. Rubin Donis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a briefing that horses have had equine
influenza virus for more than 40 years. “In all these years, we have never been able to
document a single case of human infection with this virus.”
Said Dr. Rozanski:“The informed owner will recognize this is a minor crisis unlikely, except in rare circumstances, to cause problems.”
Updated information appears regularly

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