Dog Virus Warning!

The trouble with the Canine Influenza virus, is that infected dogs can appear healthy. This is why it is crucial to keep your dog away from stray dogs, or dogs that you do not thoroughly know to be clear of the virus, (indoor pets)

H3N8 was also responsible for a major dog-flu outbreak in New York state in all breeds of dogs. From January to May 2005, outbreaks occurred at 20 racetracks in 10 states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia). As of August 2006, dog flu has been confirmed in 22 U.S. states, including pet dogs in Wyoming, California, Connecticut, Delaware, and Hawaii. Three areas in the United States may now be considered endemic for CIV due to continuous waves of cases: New York, southern Florida, and northern Colorado/southern Wyoming. There is no evidence that the virus can be transferred to people, horses, cats, or other species.

In May, 2003, a three-year old Wisconsin resident was bitten by a prairie dog purchased from a local pet store. The child was hospitalized after developing fever of unknown origin (103.0F), swollen eyes, and a red vesicular skin rash. The child’s parents also developed a rash, but no other symptoms. Physicians immediately associated the symptoms with the animal bite and reported the case to the Milkwaukee Health Department. Testing of both the child and the prairie dog confirmed the monkeypox virus as the causative agent.

Canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV2, colloquially parvo) is a contagious virus mainly affecting dogs. The disease is highly contagious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces. It can be especially severe in puppies that are not protected by maternal antibodies or vaccination. It has two distinct presentations, a cardiac and intestinal form. The common signs of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and dysentery. The cardiac form causes cardiovascular failure in young puppies. Treatment often involves veterinary hospitalization. Vaccines can prevent this infection, but mortality can reach 91% in untreated cases. Canine parvovirus will not infect humans.

No human to human transmission was found during this outbreak. All cases were found to be the direct result of contact with infected prairie dogs. Human to human transmission has been reported in Central and West Africa. However, in the Midwest outbreak, it is believed that the standard of living with access to running water, soap, sterile dressings, and use of Universal precautions, prevented human to human spread of the virus.

Nearly all dogs exposed to the virus become infected. The illness may also be spread through hand contact. If you touch a dog that has the virus and then touch your own dog or another; odds are the dog will pick up the virus from your hands or clothing.

The H3N8 vaccine is available for dog infected with the flu, however, it is not a mandatory vaccine. In some cases contracting this virus can be fatal for the dog. The H3N8 vaccine does not prevent dogs from contracting the flu, but it will treat symptoms, make symptoms more tolerable, and keep the virus from spreading to other dogs.

Both dogs and humans can get herpes virus but in both cases the disease is a different one. In other words, the family is the same but in the dog or in the human they are specially adapted to one type of host.

Give Pepto-Bismol 1/2 teaspoon every hour or 2 – keeps the stomach coated. When your puppy has parvovirus, it causes extreme inflammation to the lining of the intestines, which actually bleed and cause hemorrhaging, which can cause death. This bleeding is what gives your puppy the hallmark “parvo odor” of a rotten blood smell, which tells you right away that this is parvo. Keeping the puppy’s intestines coated will help soothe the irritation and bleeding. Give Pedialyte or home-made substitute constantly – so the puppy will not get dehydrated. Dehydration is what kills the dog. You must get fluids and electrolytes into their system. You will have to squirt it in with a syringe – when pups have Parvo they will not eat nor drink by themselves, you will have to hold their jaws open and either squirt it in or dump in with a teaspoon, just get this into them. How much you give depends on how large the puppy is. Try to give at least a 2-3 tablespoons every half hour or so, for a medium-sized breed. Give a little more or less than this, according to the size of the dog. If they throw it up, don’t worry. At least some will stay down. Wait a while and give them some more.Give ice chips if there is vomiting (Just hold the ice cube in their mouth and make them lick and swallow the cold water) It helps with the nausea and belly ache. They usually like this, surprisingly enough. You will want to call your vet and get the puppy in to be seen as soon as possible. This is a veterinary emergency. The vet will probably give the puppy a shot and some antibiotics for infection, and some reglan to calm the intestinal spasms, for you to give at home. Be sure to follow the vet’s instructions exactly.Give those Reglan pills as per the vet! These really help calm down your puppy’s nausea, intestinal spasms, and distress. It will help the puppy keep fluids down and get some rest. You will have to wipe your puppy down often with warm, damp cloths to keep him clean. The puppy will have either vomiting or smelly liquid diarrhea, or both, and they get really messy. So be sure they are kept as clean as possible, and keep them warm and covered up. Let the puppy rest and be quiet as much as you can, he needs this to heal. Speak soothingly to your pet, and give plenty of loving and petting. Your puppy will get well faster if it knows you are there and you love him.When the puppy starts getting better, you should feed him very small amounts of chicken baby food, plus keep giving the pedialyte until he starts to drink water on his own again. Just a teaspoon or 2 to begin with. Be sure to wait at least 24 hours after the last vomiting to feed any type of food. If you make them eat anything sooner, it does not give the intestinal lining time enough to heal and will only prolong the convalescent time. When your puppy gets ready and is feeling better, he will be hungry all of a sudden and will get up and start eating. Then you will know your puppy is on the mend. When they start drinking and eating on their own again, just give water and small amounts of the baby food at first, then give wet dog food, preferably chicken mixed with mashed up pasta, in equal parts, until they get their digestive tracts working right again, and are feeling better. You will be surprised how quickly a puppy can bounce back from the jaws of death and turn into a bouncy, happy puppy again! Doesn’t take long at all!You have to start this treatment right away just as soon as you notice something wrong. Parvovirus usually starts out with sudden watery, explosive diarrhea or vomiting. You will smell the characteristic Parvo “rotten blood” odor. Your dog will not drink water nor eat, and very soon the pup is stretched out and down on the ground and can’t get back up. They become limp, weak and unable to hold themselves up. If you catch them soon enough, and start hydrating and giving the Pepto, and doing the rest of the above actions, sometimes you can save them. While this advice should never take the place of a licensed veterinarian’s recommendations, and you absolutely must take your pet to the vet to be tested to make sure that it has parvo, and to get the very necessary medications your dog urgently needs to survive, you may want to keep this in mind when deciding whether to leave your baby at the vet’s, or to bring him back home with you and try to nurse him yourself. A lot of times the vet will want you to leave your pet in the doggy hospital. This will cost you a fortune, and though it is your choice, and if you feel that is what you should do, then by all means, go ahead and do that. But most vets will tell you that you can do just about as well for your puppy at home. The only thing the vet will do that you can not do, is hook them up to an IV. You can hydrate the dog just as well at home with the pedialyte, and the pup will be more comfortable at home where he can see you. Being in a strange environment is very stressful for a little puppy, and it may weaken him and make him less able to resist the disease.Be aware that parvovirus lives for many years in the soil or on surfaces where an infected animal has been. You must thoroughly disinfect your home and wherever the infected puppy was, before bringing another puppy home with you again. And you must make sure that any other new puppies you get are vaccinated before you bring them home.I just hate to see these little babies suffer, and have learned over the years how to help them. I really hope this can help save more of these precious little ones. Most people have no idea what to do if a pup gets parvo – they will just let them lay there and die needlessly, because they do not know any better. About half of all puppies attacked by parvovirus will die no matter what you do, especially if it is the virulent parvo. But if you do nothing, they will certainly die. Just knowing the right things to do can help you save your puppy’s life, and you will continue to have your best friend in your life for many more years to come.

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