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Protect your pets from cat/dog flu

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With the seasons changing, it is easy to catch a cold. Not only us, humans, suffer from the compromised immune systems, our pets are also likely to be affected.

It is well known that flu is transferred between animals, so their owners are not to be blamed.

If left untreated, flu can turn into pneumonia. Young and older animals are more at risk to get ill. Up-to-date vaccinations help to reduce the risk.

Usually, feline herpesvirus or feline calicivirus are causing flu and an upper respiratory infection in cats. In rarer cases, chlamydophila felis is another bacterium affecting cats.

Symptoms of cat flu:

  • Fatigue
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Runny nose and eyes
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite; not wanting to drink
  • Laboured breathing; loss of voice

Once infected, the cat is transferring the disease with saliva, so it is recommended to keep the sick one away from other cats even after they have been cured.

As for the dogs, they catch the flu by having an infected canine sneeze, cough or bark on it. H3N8 and H3N2 strains of dog flu are the most common.

Symptoms of dog flu:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue and loss of appetite
  • Fever

Some dogs show no symptoms, but may still be infectious.

Since a loss of appetite and a lack of thirst can be potentially life-threatening, it is advised to encourage your pets to eat by hand-feeding them and giving them strong-smelling food.

It is also important to watch how much water they drink, and if necessary gently shoot water into their mouth with the help of a syringe.

For a quick recovery, see a vet as often as necessary.

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