Canine Influenza: Helping your pet steer clear of the flu

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It’s flu season, and humans aren’t the only ones we need to be worried about because there are our furry friends as well! HI Now host Kanoe Gibson is with Dr. Krista Lee at VCA Kaneohe to talk about more about symptoms to look out for in your pet.

“Canine Influenza is something that only affects dogs. It’s caused by a virus and it usually affects the respiratory cells,” says Dr. Lee. “It has spread all across the continental U.S. and because Hawaii has a lot of pets coming in from other states, other countries,  a lot of our pets are susceptible to getting Canine Influenza when it does have an outbreak here.”

When looking out for symptoms, Dr. Lee says most dogs present in a very mild form. Oftentimes, healthy dogs won’t show any clinical signs. However, mild signs can include coughing, sneezing, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, dogs can get a secondary bacterial infection, which can cause pneumonia, and they may need to be hospitalized.

When it comes to treating Canine Influenza, Dr. Lee says there’s no specific antiviral, and doctors do their best to treat the secondary bacterial infection through antibiotics.

“We are definitely recommending our owners to come in and get vaccines to be proactive because if something were to happen, we don’t want to have a large susceptible population,” Dr. Lee explains.

About VCA Hawaii:

VCA Hawaii strives to provide the very best in medical care, and the hospitals provide a full range of general, surgical and specialized care. This is how VCA Hawaii veterinarians would treat their own pets, and it offers nothing less than that to you and your pet. VCA Hawaii understands your pets are a big part of your family and will be there for you every step of the way when it comes to your pets’ health.

For more information: vcahospitals.com