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What Is Dog Flu?

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Catching the flu is something that we all dread and actively seek to avoid. Being stuck in bed all day and living off tea just isn’t as glamorous as it sounds, we’ve all been there.

Sorry to inform you but our little fluffy angels, our dogs, can catch the flu as well.If the idea of little Freddie getting ill doesn’t worry you, bad news, we can catch the flu from our innocent furry family members.

Warnings have been spread across the media lately, warning of the next epidemic which could spread across the animal kingdom and intern, infect our dogs.

Because they are our best friends, they can easily infect us – we are talking worse than the swine flu epidemic of 2009. According to researchers, our dogs carry the same strains to the same virus, H1N1, that at caused the swine flu breakout.

The major concern is that in the past, epidemics have stemmed from birds and pigs but with domesticated dogs, who live in very close quarters with us, leaves a very little barrier to prevent the so-called impending dog flu outbreak. The bigger question is to if humans are even immune to the canine version of H1N1.

It’s extremely worrying that there is little known about this, despite the research that is being done. Unfortunately, it is thought that since there is little evidence to show the exact reaction of this flu in the UK. It could prompt a slow recovery rate due to our bodies not understanding the infection. This is incredibly concerning in the areas of Asia which consume dog meat as it puts them at high risk.

Media reports had insinuated that this flu strain may be imminent as patterns are already showing and developing in the same way that the swine flu of 2009 did. When the H1N1, H3N2 and H3N8 strains started to interact with each other 10 years before the outbreak.

One known symptom has been found after a group of pet dogs were investigated in Southern China, all with complaints of respiratory problems. Due to the large dog meat trade in the area as well as the high level of street dogs, it creates a breeding ground of the virus and could allow it to spread quickly. A previous outbreak of canine flu in 2015, in the US, left six dogs dead and infected thousands of humans, giving an idea as to how serious this epidemic could be.

Governments have been encouraged to start considering preventative and control measures to limit the incoming dog flu epidemic. In the past, infected animals have been euthanized to limit spread of the disease, but it is being urged that for dogs, other options must be considered – they are our family after all.

But do not fear, there have been claims that provisions are being put in place and vaccines are being researched to ensure that we are better prepared for this epidemic. Which means that you and little Fido can still have cuddles and fusses, just be aware to take your precious baby to the vets if they show signs of illness and keep on top of both of you and Fido’s hygiene!


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