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Tips to Help Prevent K-9 Flu

First of all, there is no vaccine for this disease. The use of flu vaccines ap- proved for other species (e.g., horses) is not recommended because of the po- tential for adverse and possibly fatal reactions in dogs.

Next, since the disease is viral, there’s no specific treatment. If your dog shows suspicious symptoms, take him to your veterinarian quickly for supportive care and antibiotic treatment for sec- ondary bacterial infections.

At this time, no major changes in your dog’s normal routine are sug- gested. But do try to avoid places with large groups of dogs in enclosed places. Unfortunately, this may include boarding kennels and groomers (and indoor dog shows). But, please use some common sense. Consider grooming your dog at home  (after  all, RRs    are  “wash  and wear”). If you must board your dog, ask that your dog spend as much time as possible in an outside run. The more air circulation there is, the more dilution of any viral particles that are coughed into the air. There should be no problem go- ing to dog-training classes that are held outside. But if you notice another dog in the class coughing, stay away from it!

Here’s another tip: If you plan on attending handling classes or showing your dog in confor- mation, consider asking permission to show your dog’s bite yourself rather than having the instructor or judge handle your dog’s mouth. (At a dog show, ask the ring stew- ard prior to your class.) This may provide a measure of prevention in the spread of this disease.

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