According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), canine influenza, also referred to as dog flu, is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by specific influenza viruses known to infect dogs. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) states that there are two strains of canine influenza: H3N8 and H3N2. Influenza type A (H3N8) was first identified in Florida in 2004. Since 2015, there have been reported cases of both H3N8 and H3N2 in New Jersey. From 2008 to 2015, the only reported cases were of H3N8.
“As of May 2018, there have been 61 positive cases of dog flu in New York City, NY and 1 positive case in Paramus, NJ.” – DogFlu.com
Canine influenza is a highly contagious viral infection. Almost every dog that is exposed to the virus will become infected. According to the AVMA, the morbidity rate of canine influenza is high. 80% of exposed animals will develop the disease. However, the mortality rate is relatively low. Less than 10% of all infected dogs actually die from the disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Not all infected dogs will show signs of disease. About 80% of dogs develop clinical signs while 20% of infected dogs will show virtually no signs of disease. Although these dogs show no signs, they can still spread the disease to other dogs.
- Clinical Signs Include:
- Runny nose
- Eye discharge
- Reduced appetite
Diagnosis and Recovery
Canine influenza cannot be diagnosed solely by the clinical symptoms. This is because the same symptoms are also present in other canine respiratory illnesses. There are tests available through your veterinarian to diagnose and identify the strains of canine influenza virus.
Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks. However, some dogs develop secondary bacterial infections which may lead to more severe illness, including pneumonia. Your veterinarian will determine the best course of treatment for your dog. There are currently no antiviral drugs approved to treat influenza in dogs.
Dogs do not have a natural immunity to canine influenza because it is a newer virus. There is also no “season” for dog flu; it can infect any time of year.
How is it spread?
The virus is spread a few different ways: through direct contact, through coughing or sneezing, or through contaminated objects. It tends to spread through the respiratory droplets produced from coughing and sneezing. The virus can spread indirectly through objects like food and water bowls, collars, leashes, toys, or surfaces. It can also be spread through people that have come in contact with infected dogs. The virus can remain viable for up to 48 hours on surfaces, 24 hours on clothing, and 12 hours on hands. To reduce the risk of disease transmission, it is extremely important to clean and disinfect any contaminated surfaces, objects, clothing, and hands. Some high risk areas of infection are dog parks, day cares, boarding facilities, shelters, groomers, and other pet friendly locations. Mobile dogs – rescue dogs or dogs that travel with their owners – easily spread the virus. This is how the disease spreads from state to state.
Dogs are contagious for three to four days prior to showing symptoms and seven to 10 days after symptoms subside. This could span several weeks. It is recommended that to prevent transmission of the virus, infected dogs with H3N2, and any other dogs in the household should be isolated for four weeks.
There is no evidence that canine influenza can spread from infected dogs to humans. However, the virus can infect cats. Cats infected with H3N2 display signs of upper respiratory disease including nasal discharge, congestion, malaise, lip smacking, and excessive salivation. Most cats can recover at home without any complications. However, it is always best to visit your veterinarian to determine the best course of action.
Canine Influenza Vaccine
There is a vaccine for dogs to protect against canine influenza. Currently, there is no vaccine to protect cats from the virus. The canine influenza vaccine is considered a “lifestyle vaccine,” meaning it may not be recommended for all dogs. The vaccine is typically recommended for dogs at risk for exposure to the virus, including dogs that participate in activities with other dogs or dogs that are housed in communal facilities. Dogs that benefit from this vaccine include those that also receive the Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine. Owners should consult with their veterinarian if the vaccine is right for their dog. Owners of boarding or day care facilities may require vaccination of dogs frequenting their establishments.
June 3rd-9th is Pet Appreciation Week!
Whether your pet barks, meows, chirps, or hisses, they are an important part of our lives.
It has been proven that pets have a positive impact on our lives:
– Research shows that pet owners exhibit stronger self-esteem than non-pet owners.
– Pets can help reduce our negativity.
– They help reduce loneliness and stress
– Pets encourage their owners to be more active
– Pets help children develop empathy
– Pet shows unconditional love
For all that our pets do for us, it’s important to make sure they know just how much we love them!
Here are a few ways you could make Pet Appreciation Week extra special for your pets:
– Celebrate with your pet’s favorite treat. Maybe it’s a favorite biscuit they have all of the time or a chew they only have on special occasions.
– Who doesn’t love a new toy? Your cat would love a new scratcher, or maybe your horse would love a new Jolly Ball to play around with.
– Does your pet have a special place they like to visit? Take your dog on their favorite walking trail through the woods or a trip to their favorite pet friendly beach.
– Add a little something to one of their dinners this week. Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers enhance your dog’s meal.
– Selfie! Take fun pictures either of or with your pet(s) and share them to social media! Let your friends join in on the pet celebration; maybe they’ll even share pictures of their pets too!
From everyone at The Hungry Puppy, happy Pet Appreciation Week!
Some people enjoy thunderstorms – they like the sounds and watching the lightning that may accompany it. Some pets, however, do not enjoy this weather spectacle. It can leave them scared and anxious.
If you have a pet that does not do well with thunderstorms, there are some ways in which you can help them keep their cool during a thunderstorm.
Continue reading Calming Pets During Thunderstorms
Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness that affects dogs.
According to Pet MD, Lyme Disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world, but it only causes symptoms in 5-10% of affected dogs. Because of this, the disease can be difficult to detect.
Continue reading Lyme Disease
Many pet parents have heard the term “heartworm” before, but may not know what it is, how pets get it, and why testing and preventative care is so important.
What is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm disease is a serious, progressive disease that affects pets. It is also potentially fatal if left untreated. In infected pets, heartworms live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and arteries and can cause severe heart failure, lung disease, and other problems with organs in the body. Heartworms are easy to detect and easy to prevent, but difficult to cure.
Pet identification is the fastest way to return a pet to their home if they become lost.
Personalized pet ID tags are a great form of identification because they can be read by anyone that finds the pet. A quick read of a pet ID can jumpstart a reunion with pet and home. ID tags or personalized/embroidered collars are a popular option of pet identification for pets. However, a tag or a collar can become lost, leaving your pet without any form of ID.
Microchip identification is recommended to use in addition to a pet ID tag to ensure that a missing pet can be identified, even if they lose their collar. The small microchip is implanted under the pets skin where it cannot fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read over time. It has a unique ID number that is registered with the owner’s contact information. Lost pets are scanned for a microchip if brought to a veterinarian or an animal shelter. The unique ID will then be displayed and can be used to contact a pet owner.
Whether you use a pet ID tag, a microchip, or both, it is important to make sure your contact information remains up to date. If you get a new phone number or if you move to a new house, be sure to update this information on your pet’s identification.
Proper identification ensures a happy reunion pet and pet parent.
Personalized engraved ID tags are available at The Hungry Puppy, starting at $4.99.
Regular visits to your vet are an essential part of keeping your pet healthy.
A wellness exam is a routine exam performed on a healthy pet. This may also be referred to as a “check-up.”
Anxitane is a chewable tablet for pets to help manage anxiety.
Any animal that experiences frequent states of fear or anxiety is likely to be stressed and may be suffering.
Anxitane at a Glance:
1. Helps keep dogs and cat calm and relaxed
2. Clinically proven to reduce anxiety levels in dogs and cats
3. No known contraindications with other therapeutics
4. Palatable for dogs and cats
Primary Causes of Anxiety in Pets:
Inherited behavioral tendencies – nervousness and shyness are generally believed to be inherited traits.
Inadequate early environmental experiences – an animal that is not exposed to a variety of stimuli in a non-threatening manner during the first four months of life may be less likely to cope with the stimuli later in life.
Inadequate socialization – an animal that is not introduced to a variety of people and other animals during the first four months of life are more likely to be afraid when they encounter others as adults.
A learned aversion due to a particular experience – an unpleasant or aversive experience can lead to a lasting fear of that particular stimuli.
Medical or behavioral pathology – systematic illnesses can lead to anxiety. Chronic painful conditions and cognitive dysfunctions can also be associated with increased levels of anxiety.
OR any combination of the above
The Anxious Pet
The anxious animal is hyper-vigilant even in the absence of specific stimuli. They may act afraid or anxious, generally anticipating the “problem situations.” Animals with specific fears or phobias may show signs of a fear response to similar stimuli. For example, a fear of thunderstorms may cause a similar fear response to loud noises like fireworks. Anxiety and fear can be accompanied by physiological signs such as trembling, salivating, diarrhea, involuntary urination, and emptying anal glands. Some animals may use aggression to cope with fearful or stressful situations. The anxious animal may not be able to calm down until they are far from the frightening stimuli.
The earlier the intervention, the better the chance of successful treatment.
To initiate behavioral modification, the specific causes of anxiety need to be identified and eliminated where possible.
Desensitization and counter conditioning are methods of behavioral modification that may be used to change the animal’s response to the stimulus.
Desensitization – the process of making an animal less sensitive or reactive to a particular stimulus. This is done by presenting the stimulus that normally causes fear at such a low level that it does not cause the fear response. Over time, the level of the stimulus is increased until the animal can experience the full level of stimulus without the initial fearful response.
Counter conditioning – the process that helps an animal change a negative response to a stimulus by pairing the event with a powerful, opposite emotional response.
Combining desensitization and counter conditioning is an effective technique for reducing an animal’s fearful and anxious response to specific stimuli.
Medical intervention is necessary when the anxiety is too intense that behavioral modification is too difficult to apply. Medical intervention includes pheromones, psychotropic drugs, or nutraceuticals. The purpose of these are to raise the animal’s threshold for exhibiting anxiety and fear. This will ideally make it easier to apply behavioral modification techniques.
A nutraceutical is a food or dietary supplement that provides health benefits in addition to its basic nutritional value. Anxitane is a nutraceutical. It has been proven effective in clinical trials of anxious and fearful dogs and cats. Pet parents consider it a good first intention option because it is safe and not habit forming.
When to Use Anxitane
Anxitane should be considered a first intention product for treating dogs and cats with mild fear or anxiety-related behaviors. It can be used long-term, but it can also be used on an as-needed basis. For example, anxiety relief for travel and car rides.
Anxitane can be used in combination with several other anxiolytic products.
It is helpful for:
– fear of noise
– fear of travel
– fear of people
– hypervigilance or tenseness
– physical signs of anxiety like trembling, salivating, and mydriasis (dilation of the pupils)
– hiding and attention-seeking behavior
Suggested dosage, by animal and weight:
Cat – Anxitane S – ½ tablet twice daily
Dog under 22 lb. – Anxitane S – ½ tablet twice daily
Dog 22-55 lb. – Anxitane M-L – ½ tablet twice daily
Dog 55+ lb. – Anxitane M-L – 1 tablet twice daily
While results can be seen within the first month of treatment, allow 8 weeks to see maximum benefits.
At the end of two months, the intensity of anxiety is reduced by 60%, allowing the pet to participate more in behavioral modification and enhances clinical improvement. If the animal does not show improvement after 6-8 weeks, rarely will they show subsequent improvement without the addition of other medicine.
The active ingredient in Anxitane is Suntheanine, which is found naturally in green tea. Its calming properties have been recognized in China for thousands of years. It is proven effective and has no documented side effects. The palatability of the tablet makes administration easy and pleasant for the pet and the parent.
When Not to Use Anxitane
Anxitane does not seem to be effective for separation anxiety or cases where the dog is destructive when left alone.
Anxitane should not be used for anxious dogs showing signs of aggression. Reducing their fear may also reduce their inhibition and increase the chance for aggression.
Anxitane is currently available at The Hungry Puppy
Treatibles – Dog Treats Made with Hemp
Treatibles is the first company to create phytocannabinoid infused products for pets.
What is Phytocannabinoid Oil?
Phytocannabinoid oil is extracted from medical grade hemp grown in the USA. Phytocannabinoids have been studied for many years, and it has been found that naturally occurring phytocannabinoids are “safe and well-tolerated in humans and animals and is not associated with any negative public health effects.”
Phytocannabinoids promote healthy joints and digestion. They also help with general anxiety, separation anxiety, loss of appetite, seizures, end of life comfort, and more.
How does it work?
All animals have and endocannabinoid system. This system helps in maintaining the physiological, neurological, and immunological systems of the body. If there is a deficiency of endocannabinoid production, the system’s receptors will utilize the addition of phytocannabinoids to help create balance within the system. This provides support for relaxing, repairing, and restoring. It is important for the overall health of animals.
Dogs have the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains and bodies. This makes phytocannabinoids particularly helpful for them.
I don’t want my dog to get high
Don’t worry, they won’t! Hemp derived phytocannabinoids do not contain psychoactive compounds and do not cause the high that is associated with cannabis. Treatibles chews are virtually free of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in medical cannabis. You can give your dog Treatibles with the ease of mind that they will receive the health benefits without any psychoactive side effects.
Treatibles are compassion certified and are made from human-safe, USA-sourced ingredients. They go through rigorous protocols to ensure the highest quality for their products. From the raw materials to the finished product, they engage in third party lab testing for quality control.
The chews are made with wholesome plant-based ingredients. Treatibles come in three flavors, blueberry, pumpkin, and turkey, and are available in Small/Medium and Large chews. The Small/Medium chews have 1 mg of Phytocannabinoid Rich Oil per chew. The Large chews have 4 mg of Phytocannabinoid Rich Oil per chew.