Do They Give Anything To A One-Year-Old For The Flu Pets and the Swine Flu

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Pets and the Swine Flu

A 13-year-old Iowa cat answers the question many concerned pet owners ask: “Can pets get disease from us?” The kitten has swine flu, proving that the disease can actually be passed from person to person. The diagnosis surprised veterinarians and medical experts, who had not previously thought cats or dogs were susceptible to human influenza viruses. No dogs have yet been diagnosed, so researchers aren’t sure if the virus can also be transmitted to dogs. However, ferrets, pigs and domestic turkeys also appear to be susceptible to the virus, so dogs are likely as well.

The virus can cause a runny nose and other flu symptoms. For people with weakened immune systems, such as children or the elderly, swine flu can even be fatal. So there is concern that if a cat or dog does get the disease, it could also cause respiratory distress or death. No one wants to see their pet memorialized in a cat urn or dog urn when absolutely necessary, so prudent owners will want to be aware of potential dangers and watch their pets for signs of swine flu.

Veterinarians warn that people should not automatically conclude that a runny nose or other flu symptoms are caused by H1N1 infection in their pets. Experts believe that if an animal exhibits these symptoms, it is more likely to be caused by a virus that is more common in household pets than H1N1. However, if you or other household members are infected with H1N1, or you think your animal has been exposed, you can have your pet tested to rule out the possibility that it is this potentially severe strain of flu.

Since cats can obviously get the virus, you should take the same precautions with cats as you would with anyone. If you get sick or your family members get H1N1, be careful not to expose your feline friends to the germs. Try not to be too affectionate or cuddly with your pet when you are sick, so as not to spread germs and inadvertently make your pet sick. Do not keep tissues or other contaminated items around. After all, your pet might be prone to playing with tissues, and this lighthearted game could make them sick. Also, make sure that if your animal begins to show signs of illness, you go to a responsible veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

Diligent pet owners want to delay as long as possible the day of commemorating their pets with pet gravestones. An important step in doing so is knowing the potential dangers of dogs and cats and taking steps to guard against them. So while veterinarians think it’s unlikely that many cats or dogs will contract this new flu virus, it’s usually better to be safe than sorry.

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