How to protect your pets from the dog flu

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- The flu is widespread across the United States, but humans aren't the only ones who can catch the virus.

"Dogs cannot give you their flu, however, the human virus, dogs can rarely become infected with," said Dr. Jennifer Webb, Lawton Veterinary Hospital.

But even as rare as it may be Dr. Webb still encourages pet owners to beware of the signs.

If you notice your dog has flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and not wanting to eat or drink... they should be taken to the vet. Other preventative measures should also be taken.

"If there is somebody in the family that develops the flu they should keep them away from their pets as much as possible," said Webb. "You don't want them up in your face licking on you that sort of thing. Just like if you had a young child."

Besides human flu, canine influenza which is dog-specific is a year-round health issue that dogs can get from aerosols or direct contact.

She said some pets are more subject to that virus and may need a vaccine.

"If you're somebody that travels a lot with your pet or if you're a dog show person than it is recommended that they receive it," said Webb.

And if your dog is infected with the virus your pet's symptoms can be treated with an injection and medication.

"Take the precautions that you would for anybody in your family includes your four-legged family in that as well," said Webb. "Keep them out of direct contact with anybody with the flu and protect them as much as you possibly can."

If you have concerns about their pet's health, or if your dog is showing signs of canine influenza, you should contact your veterinarian.

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