Just as many Ohio residents are receiving their annual flu shots to protect against the virus, pet owners are quickly discovering that this illness isn’t just for people—it can also affect dogs. In recent weeks, dog flu outbreaks throughout Ohio have been sparking concern, as some animals have become dangerously ill. But while the outbreak may seem alarming, Elyria Animal Hospital reassures puppy parents that a few precautions can help limit the effects of the disease. To help raise awareness, this Lorain County, OH, veterinarian highlights the important things to know about dog flu.
What Are the Dangers of Dog Flu?
Dog flu symptoms are quite similar to those humans experience when they catch the virus. They may include coughing, high body temperature, fatigue, breathing problems, and congestion. While healthy canines can usually recover without issues, older dogs and those with chronic health problems may be at risk of severe complications—such as pneumonia—and death.
How Does the Virus Spread?
This strain of the virus is highly contagious and can spread when dogs cough, sneeze, or come in physical contact with other canines. It commonly spreads in high-traffic areas, such as dog parks and boarding facilities.
Fortunately, the bug cannot spread to humans or other animals. Dogs also cannot catch the virus from humans with the flu as it is a different strain.
How Can I Protect My Pet?
The best way to protect your dog from getting sick is to have your pet immunized. This treatment starts with an initial vaccine followed by annual booster shots. In addition to routine vaccination, you may want to keep your dog from public spaces until an outbreak has passed.
When Should I Call a Vet?
Many animals can recover independently within a week or so with rest and standard pet care. However, if you have an at-risk pet or notice symptoms worsening, call a veterinarian. With a proper diagnosis, emergency animal hospitals can prescribe treatments, including antibiotics, to fight secondary infections and speed recovery.
Whether you are concerned about your dog’s flu risk or require routine immunization, Elyria Animal Hospital offers advanced pet care to provide you with peace of mind. Located in Elyria, OH, this veterinarian utilizes 20 years of experience to provide comprehensive services that promote long, happy lives for cherished animals. In addition to general and emergency care, this team offers safe pet boarding in which all guests must be properly vaccinated. Learn more about these resources online or call (440) 365-3818 to schedule an appointment with a friendly community vet.