We’ve all heard the stories about the flu epidemic among people and, even though it’s not all that common, pets can also get the flu. Know also that it can be highly contagious among animals, so shelters, boarding kennels, daycare facilities, etc.can be hotbeds.
Bacteria and viruses have zoonotic properties. Zoonotic means simply that it can be passed back and forth between people and pets.
So here’s what to look out for in your dog or cat: Labored breathing and cough, whether wet or dry, are common symptoms. So is lethargy or discharge from the nose or eyes. Gastrointestinal tract problems can also occur, so if you see them, check for any additional symptoms, above.
A healthy lifestyle–plenty of sleep, high-quality food and plenty of fresh, clean water, is critical always, but especially now. Also check that your pets’ vaccinations are up-to-date. If you board, groom, or send your pet to day-care, ask them about their health policies, particularly regarding the flu. Since it is so contagious among animals, keep yours away from any cat or dog who looks sick.
You should also discuss any other preventative measures with your vet.
Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP, is a certified health and nutrition coach who specializes in wellness for the entire family, including the 4-legged furry children. “Everyone absorbs the energy of each other, so it’s best to coach as a family–and animals are just as vulnerable to the same things as people, including obesity (which is now up to 54 percent in this country), arthritis, stress and lifestyle-based diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is: www.irenefross.com