Living in Oklahoma City as a pet owner can be a tricky. Being at the literal cross roads of the US, the population of animals and humans travel and board and socialize. This can mean a higher risk for illnesses, like canine flu and strep outbreaks.
What is Dog Flu?
Canine Influenza (or 'Dog Flu') surveillance began in the United States in 2004, and has since been recognized as an emerging and highly contagious pathogen that is responsible for outbreaks and epidemics in multiple countries around the world. Canine flu is an infectious respiratory disease caused by the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), a virus similar to the one that causes seasonal influenza in humans. While the Canine Influenza Virus strain most commonly affecting the United States is the H3N2 strain, the virus comes in multiple forms, such as the H3N8 strain, which is oftentimes referred to as the ‘Classical strain’. The virus is highly contagious, and known to infect other animals as well, such as cats and ferrets.
What is Strep Outbreak?
Strep Outbreak is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection of the throat, otherwise known as streptococcal pharyngitis or strep throat. It's a highly contagious bacterial infection, and it has a tendency to spread particularly quickly in environments with a large population of animals, such as Oklahoma City. Though the symptoms may be similar to the flu, Streptococcal Pharyngitis is caused by the Streptococcus bacterium, which is separate from the Influenza virus that causes canine flu.
What Are the Symptoms of Dog Flu and Strep Outbreak?
The symptoms of both Dog Flu and Strep Outbreak may be similar, with the most common symptoms including coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, loss of appetite, lethargy, and reduced activity. It's important to note, however, that not all symptoms may be present in each case, and in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. Additionally, infected animals may show signs of pneumonia, which can be recognized by a persistent hacking cough, difficulty breathing, and general lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes).
How Can I Keep My Dog Safe?
Keeping your pup safe from Dog Flu and Strep Outbreak is one of the most important tasks for pet owners. Fortunately, there are many simple steps you can take to reduce their risk of infection. The most important one is to keep your pup up-to-date on their vaccinations and ask your veterinarian about any additional preventative treatments they recommend. Another thing to remember is socialization of your dog with other dogs. Most of us realize that a cough can spread upper respiratory pathogens, but one thing dogs do that is acceptable and aerosolizes particles- barking! So when youre dog is in a social setting and other dogs are barking, if they are not showing signs of cough but are infected- they are happily barking pathogens all over the place. Canine Flu can live on surfaces for 48 hours. Be aware of these things when you take your pup out to meet new friends. Wash your hands before and after handling your pet. Keep all their toys, bedding, and other items clean. Finally, avoid contact with other pets who may be sick or showing any signs of illness to reduce the possibility of transferring the virus to your pup.
How Can I Get Treatment for Dog Flu or Strep Outbreak?
The treatment for Dog Flu or Strep Outbreak is largely dependent on the severity of the illness. After an exam, your veterinarian can prescribe cough suppressants and antibiotics if needed. In more severe cases, Hospitalization may be necessary. During this period, intravenous hydration and antibiotics may be used to assist with any secondary infections, and treatments such as oxygen therapy may be needed to aid in the recovery and reduce the risk of further complications.
It's important to note that prevention is often the best treatment and that the risk of infection can be greatly reduced by ensuring your pup is kept up-to-date on all their vaccinations. Additionally, if you are planning to take your pup to a place with a high concentration of other animals, like a dog park, it's recommended that you speak to your veterinarian about additional preventative measures such as. There is no Strep vaccine for dogs, just horses.
As a pet owner in Oklahoma City, it's important to understand the risks of Dog Flu and Strep Outbreak, and the steps you can take to keep your pup safe from these potentially dangerous illnesses. The symptoms of canine flu and strep outbreak can often be similar, but the treatments and preventative measures for each may be drastically different.
With proper preventative measures and a quick response to any potential illnesses, you can help ensure your pup stays safe and healthy in Oklahoma City. Fortunately, with the resources and information available, it's easier than ever to stay up-to-date on the risks and treatments associated with Dog Flu and Strep Outbreak. For more information, please refer to the following sources:
With a comprehensive understanding of the risks associated with Dog Flu and Strep Outbreak in Oklahoma City, and an awareness of the necessary preventative measures, you can ensure the ongoing health and safety of your pup.