Important Information for Our Four-Legged Family Members

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Disclosure: Today’s post is a part of the Insider’s Program on Bloggy Moms. All opinions are my own.  

Do you have a special member of your family that happens to have fur?  For many families, like ours, the dog in our lives is a beloved member of our family.  She may be the littlest, but some days I think she has the biggest heart.  This is our little Maltese, Maggie.  She is sitting between my ankles as I type—know that when the laptop comes out and the recliner goes up, her spot is reserved.  Technically, Maggie is my daughter’s dog but shhhhhh, don’t tell her. However, Maggie will always be my baby too.

I am writing this post for all dog lovers because of a serious threat to this special member of our families.  Have you heard about H3N2?  H3N2 is a new strain of the dog flu (canine influenza aka CIV), which emerged in the United States in 2015.  The most recent outbreaks were here in Chicago earlier this year and in Los Angeles in April.  There are so many scary things about this flu. Close to 100% of ALL DOGS have no natural immunity to it.  If your dog is exposed, it is an almost certainty that he or she will be infected!

The member-of-our-family mentality, helps us understand how to deal with this frightening strain of flu.  What do you do if the school where your child attends has a flu outbreak?  All the same rules of containment apply to dogs.  We wouldn’t let our child share a water bottle with a sick child – we also need to protect our dogs from potentially contagious pets.  If your child gets sick, they stay home from school and away from other children until they are clearly over the illness.  The same is true for your four-legged child.

 

Signs of dog flu are coughing, fever, sneezing, ocular discharge and lethargy.  Our little one gets almost a vacant look in her eyes when she is sick.  We can tell that she is just not herself.  In severe cases of dog flu, dogs can develop pneumonia and potentially can even die from complications.  Prevention is the best approach. Dog owners should speak to their veterinarian about whether the dog flu vaccine should be added to their dog’s vaccination protocol.

I hope you will not only take care of your own dog, but also help me spread the word about this threat to our family members.  If This Dog Could Talk is a campaign from Merck Animal Health to raise awareness of the dog flu, in partnership with the renowned photo-documentary series creator, The Dogist. Merck Animal Health and The Dogist have created the If This Dog Could Talk: Tour to Prevent Dog Flu album.  Please click through to learn more, download the If This Dog Could Talk: Tour to Prevent Dog Flu album and tell your friends, both talking about this important subject, and on social media. Download the Full Tour Album here.

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