It’s Swine, Not Canine

With all the recent national anxiety about swine flu, some pet owners are worried about their animals at home. Can dogs or cats get the flu, and can they transmit it to humans?

Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying there’s no evidence of viral transmission to or between domestic pets. If your dog goes to a doggy day care, there’s no reason she shouldn’t keep going. Normal precautions still apply, of course. Your dog or cat is much more susceptible to pet-borne illnesses like parvo or distemper than swine flu-so be sure vaccinations are up to date.

As for humans, reasonable precautions are in order. Follow the same advice you hear during any other cold and flu season: wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, dispose of any used tissues. If you’re ill, drink fluids and rest; flu remedies like Tamiflu and Relenza can be help ease symptoms if taken early in the illness, says Besser.

┬áJut don’t worry about Fido and Fluffy. They’ll be just fine.

posted by Claire M. Caterer


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