What You Need To Know About Canine Influenza
The United States has been seeing more and more cases of Canine Influenza each year. According to Merck Animal Health’s Dog Flu Map, Maryland has had recorded cases of both strains as of October 2017.
There are currently two known strains of Canine Influenza. H3N8, which was first found in Florida in 2004, is contagious from infected dogs for up to 5 days. H3N2, found in China and Korea in 2006, is contagious intermittently for up to 24 days.
How is canine influenza transmitted?
Canine influenza is mostly airborne and spreads just like the human cold. The most common way for an infected dog to spread it is through coughing and sneezing. Dogs can also contract the flu from direct contact with other dogs (sniffing or licking). Dogs can also spread the flu by contaminating surfaces, for example, sharing water bowls and toys. If a human were to come into contact with a contagious dog, the infection can be spread to other dogs from their hands or clothes.
What clinical signs do dogs show with canine influenza?
The most common signs of the K9 Flu are:
What should I do if my dog shows signs, and what can I do to prevent my dog from getting canine influenza?
If your dog shows one or more signs of canine influenza, Dr. Handel recommends making an appointment for them to be examined. The most effective way to avoid the K9 flu is by getting the vaccination. Here at Kentlands Vet, we offer a combination vaccine that vaccinates your dog for both strains known to the US.
Who should be vaccinated?
Dogs that are social with other dogs should be vaccinated for canine influenza. A dog is considered social if it goes to dog parks, boarding facilities, training classes, gets groomed frequently, or participates in any other activity that involves coming into contact with other dogs. The initial canine influenza vaccine is a two-part series. After the first shot, your dog will need to come back two to four weeks later for the booster shot. After the booster shot is given, your dog will be vaccinated against the K9 flu for a full year. All further flu vaccines will be given annually.
‘Tis the season of fruit cake and hot chocolate! Be sure to remember that foods like chocolate or cocoa and raisins, which are common ingredients in holiday foods, are highly toxic to cats and dogs.
Sure, you know better than to give your dog a sip of beer, but would you think twice about sneaking him a piece of cake? Rum cake and raw or undercooked bread dough (yeast) can actually result in alcohol poisoning for your pets.
Mistletoe and Holly are both common household plants during Christmas time. They are both also toxic to your fur babies. Symptoms of ingesting these plants include vomiting and diarrhea, drooling, and breathing problems. Mistletoe can also cause a drop in blood pressure and hallucinations. If a large amount of either plant is ingested, seizures or death may occur.
The main chemical in ice melt products is chloride. This can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling. In more severe cases, it can cause seizures and muscle weakness. Remember that petsafe ice melt does exist. Be sure to use something like this around your furry friends.
It is a common misconception that indoor cats do not need prevention against fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites. We recommend giving your cats Frontline for ticks, and Revolution or Advantage Multi for fleas, heartworms, and internal parasites. Unfortunately, your home is not fully protected from the outside world. Multi-pet households with dogs have an increased chance of bringing these parasites indoors.
The most common reason for a dog to scoot their behind would be what are called anal glands. The anal glands have an internal sac on either side of the anus (approximately at 8 and 4 o'clock) that fill up with a smelly, liquidy substance. When you see your furry friend dragging themselves across the carpet, this usually means that they need their glands expressed. Anal gland expression, which can be done at home or at the vet, consists of placing your index finger inside of the dog’s anus and placing your thumb on the left or right side of the anus. You will then bring your fingers together and make a rolling motion toward the anus with the index finger. Then you will repeat on the other side. Gloves and lubricant are needed, and paper towels for wiping the area down afterwards are also useful.
No one wants fleas, especially your dog. They can cause excessive scratching, skin problems, and lead to infestations in your home. Here are four signs that your dog has fleas:
1. Visible fleas on your dog's coat or skin
Do you see obvious signs that your dog has fleas? Fleas are small brown and typically dark in color. They like to live in warm places, like armpits, the groin area, or near ears. Small red bumps on your dog's skin may indicate flea bites. If you see live fleas you will want to call your veterinarian and let them know what is going on in order to best deal with the problem.
2. Excessive Scratching or Chewing
Dogs with fleas typically scratch at their skin and may even chew at it try to alleviate the itchiness associated with fleas. When fleas bit their host they secrete saliva that causes the itchy feeling that our pet's feel. If your dog is very sensitive to the saliva they may have a flea allergy which will further inflame their skin. This can lead to skin infections and should be evaluated by your veterinarian.
3. Flea Dirt on Fur
Sometimes you will notice flea dirt and not the actual flea. Flea dirt can look like black pepper and it is left behind after fleas bite. If you check your pet for fleas using a flea comb you may pick up flea dirt. If you find flea dirt be sure to treat your dog for the fleas that left it behind. Consult with your veterinarian for the best way to do this.
4. Skin Problems
Fleas can cause many skin problems ranging from infections to hot spots. The excessive itching can cause dog's to chew at their skin and often cause bald spots. If you notice red spots, hair loss, or a potential infection remember that it could be caused by fleas.
The use of a monthly flea preventative, such as NexGard, is a crucial part of your pet's health. It will not only protect your pet, but prevent fleas from living in your environment. Please ask us about additional ways to prevent fleas.