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Don't Sneeze at Pet's Cold or Flu-Like Symptoms - Get to Your Vet

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Stop H1N1 Flu Virus in Pets

Family pets may become ill when H1N1 influenza virus is passed to them by their owners.

Known animals in which this virus has been found include birds, pigs, a dog, cats and pigs.

Stopping transmission of the virus in your furry friends can be accomplished in 4 ways:

  1. Frequently wash your hands
  2. Reduce contact with cats, dogs and pets in your home when you're sick
  3. Cover your nose when sneezing
  4. Cover your mouth when coughing

Stay tuned in to your pet's habits and general health for tell-tale signs of illness.

The H1N1 influenza warning signs are:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Breathing difficulties

On February 14, 2011 IDEXX Research Laboratories confirmed that the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus was present in two cats from the same Wisconsin home.  The cats were treated at an emergency veterinary hospital for severe respiratory distress.  The owner of the cats had been experiencing flu-like symptoms.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggests the cats became ill when the H1N1 influenza virus was transmitted to them by their owner.  There are no known cases of pets transmitting the virus back to people.  This strain of the H1N1 influenza virus has also been found in birds, ferrets, pigs, and a dog, in addition to humans and cats.

Pets living in households where the H1N1 influenza virus is present can become infected with the virus.  Signs and symptoms your pet may demonstrate are much like those of typical respiratory infections.  Severe respiratory disease and pneumonia can be unfortunate results of this virus.

Pet owners are urged to monitor the health of each of their pets very closely to be on the safe side.  Watch your pet for the H1N1 influenza signs of respiratory distress including: labored, rapid or difficult breathing, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, sneezing, coughing and discharge from nose or eyes.  Report any signs of respiratory illness or flu-like signs or symptoms experienced by your pets to your family veterinarian speedily.

Pet owners can take action to protect their family pets against the spread of this influenza virus.  Veterinarian Ann Garvey of the Iowa Department of Public Health made a number of recommendations.  Dr. Garvey's prevention suggestions include:  frequent hand washing, reduced contact with cats, dogs and household pets when you have any flu-type symptoms.  She suggests that adults and children cover their noses when sneezing and their mouths when coughing.

The AMVA indicated that there are some viruses able to pass between families and their pets.  Human influenza, swine flu and avian flu viruses are different, yet closely related.  Each is known to have the potential to infect one of the other species.  The results can sometimes be tragic.

Reports were made in the United States during the fall of 2009 through early 2010 of a number of suspected cases of H1N1 influenza virus in various types of animals.  The method of contact was believed to be people who were infected with the H1N1 influenza virus.

Dr. Emilio DeBess, the Oregon State Public Health Veterinarian encourages all pet owners to use simple techniques to reduce the transfer of the H1N1 virus from themselves to their cats, dogs, ferrets, birds and all other household animals.

"Wash your hands, cover your cough and your sneeze, and do your best to prevent contaminating objects your pet may come into contact with," he said. "The key message is to protect your animals much like you protect your family."

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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