Florida has an outbreak of highly contagious dog flu. If you have dogs (or cats!) then take a few preventative measures for them against dog flu.

Dogs have no resistance to the flu, and a cough or sneeze can spread it up to 20 feet, leading to a quick outbreak via dog parks, kennels, and dog grooming salons. Cats who come into contact are also susceptible.

If you’re dog or cat starts showing symptoms of sneezing, coughing, runny nose, fatigue (a change in energy level and enthusiasm) or fever, call your vet. While most can get through it with just a little extra TLC, it can develop into pneumonia if left unchecked.

Unfortunately, some pets won’t show any symptoms at all (or only an unalarming occasional sneeze or cough), but almost every dog that comes into contact with it will catch dog flu. Since flu is a virus, antibiotics won’t help and just like with humans rest and care are the best bet.

To help keep your pets safe, stay tuned in to what’s happening locally. Right now an outbreak is being reported in Florida, but with summer travel it’s not unlikely it will show up elsewhere. Try and keep pets away from large gathering areas (pets who catch flu should be quarantined, but there are always those are undiagnosed).

Just like with humans, pets can benefit from immune supporting colloidal silver. They only need a few drops in their water bowls. If you have outdoor pets, it’s a good precaution anyway.

The good news is that this is a different strain than humans get. It’s thought to have spread from birds in Asia (where bird flu is more common) to dogs who had contact with them. While it’s possible that this strain of dog flu can mingle with other flu strains (like the more virulent strains of bird flu) and pick up the genes necessary to become transmissible to humans, it’s unlikely in the pet scenario (more so with wild animals).

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