Thursday, September 16, 2010

Are my cattle dogs susceptible to human flu?

We as humans are prone to the  flu virus but can we give it to our cattle dogs? The answer is no. The flu virus is a type of disease that is transmittable from animals to animals (zoonosis). Zoonotic diseases are broken up into two aspects - those that humans catch from other animals (anthropozoonoses) and ones that other animals catch from humans (zooanthroponoses). There is no evidence that humans can pass the flu to their Aussie blue heeler. The form of flu found in dogs comes from horses. Similarly, dogs do not get the strains of flu that humans are vulnerable to.

In today's world with flu pandemics such as Swine Flu, White Pox, FMD or Foot and Mouth Disease, and Influenza Virus it is easy for us to ignore the fact that our cattle dogs can also catch their own version of flu. Much like in human flu, the main symptoms of this illness in Aussie blue heelers are nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing and fever. In some cases, however, cattle dogs can get real sick.

If you notice your cattle dogs start to cough regularly, you should visit your nearest vet clinic so that they can assess your Aussie heeler dogs and provide an appropriate treatment. If left neglected, the biggest problem with dog flu is that in some cases, your dogs may develop pneumonia, which is considerably more dangerous.

How can I protect my cattle dogs from having flu?

Protecting your Aussie blue heeler dog from getting flu virus is very easy. Always clean their environment to help minimize the risk of being infected by flu. Keep your cattle dogs away from populated dog areas. Keep your dogs away from street dogs. Most of all, visit your vet clinic to know more about the precaution you need to do for your pets.

So don’t be alarmed, if you feel like coughing or sneezing with your cattle dogs around then feel free to do so. Don’t worry about having your dogs hang out with you on your next sick day – they’ll be fine.

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