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Flu Season and Your Hunting Dog
What you need to know about flu season and your hunting dog.
In today’s virus, ridden world there is everything from the swine to the bird flu out there waiting to attack at a moment’s notice. Everyone knows that they should beware as humans can certainly catch them. What many hunters don’t realize is that the flu doesn’t always attack humans; it can get to your beloved hunting dogs as well. With that being said, read on below to learn what you need to know about this year’s upcoming flu season and how it could affect your hunting dog friends.
What is the Dog Flu?
The dog flu, also known as the canine influenza H3N8, was originally found in horses. It has been affecting horses for over 40 years, but the first signs of it in dogs didn’t emerge until 2004. While no one is really sure how it spread, the best thing to do is keep an eye on your dog and look for the symptoms below.
What Symptoms should You Watch for?
Of course, there are the obvious symptoms that your hunting companion isn’t feeling well, this includes sneezing, coughing, fever, runny nose, laziness, and lack of appetite, vets say that there are other signs that might not be as noticeable. Your hunting dog may not show any obvious signs for up to 10 days after catching the dog flu; however, they will still be contagious.
Is the Dog Flu Dangerous?
There have been over a 1000 cases confirmed in some areas over the last few months. Most of the cases have proved to be mild cases; however, at least five percent have proven to be fatal. The flu has been found in over 40 states since 2004, so while it may be mild it is best to take your dog to the vet at the first sign of illness.
How is it Passed from One Pup to Another?
The dog flu, just like human flu is spread through contact, shared toys, and sneezes, coughs, and even being in contact with other dogs in populated areas.
Prevention for You Dog
The best way to keep your hunting dog safe is to keep him away from crowded kennels, dog parks, and other places where the dog flu is apt to be spread. It is best to wash your hands and change your clothes whenever you have been petting another dog, so that the risk to your hunting dogs is lessened. If you are in any doubt as to whether your hunting dog has the dog flu, contact your vet as soon as possible so that he can confirm or deny your worry. It is always best to be safe than sorry when it comes to your hunting dogs.
This is a brief look at how the dog flu can affect your dogs this hunting season. Make sure that they get plenty of exercise, eat right, and minimize contact with other dogs and your dog should be good to go this year.