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Recognize canine flu symptoms and do your part to boost your dog's immunity

Much like the human form, canine flu is a highly infectious virus induced disease with the propensity to cause great harm to your animal. It is an emerging disease that shares a variety of similarities with the equine flu, so there is a possibility that the canine flu actually developed first in horses. The canine flu symptoms in your pet will consist mainly of respiratory problems and, if left untreated, could progress into other severe illnesses, including pneumonia.

There are two general forms of the canine flu, each with different, varying degrees of symptoms. Mild form canine flu symptoms include a cough, much like that of Òkennel cough,Ó and a runny nose with thick nasal discharge, usually green in color. The severe form contains canine flu symptoms that include a high fever and symptoms of the early stages of pneumonia. While the fatality rate of dogs with canine flu is relatively low at five to eight percent, it should be noted that the canine flu is highly contagious, and if a dog comes into contact with the virus, there is an eighty percent or greater chance that it will be affected by the virus. There is currently no vaccine or natural immunity to the canine flu, so every dog is at equal risk of infection. With its high rate of infectivity, the canine flu virus can be spread either through direct contact with infected dogs, or with your dogÕs contact with infected chew toys, food, etc.

A cough is generally the first sign of a canine flu outbreak in your animal. At this point, the best remedy is to simply take care of your dog, making sure it gets a healthy amount of healthy food, and generally keeping it warm and cozy. If and when your pet progresses to a phase where it is seeping green snot from the nose, then you will want to consult your veterinarian to obtain some broad spectrum antibiotics to help combat the bacterial that has taken hold of your petÕs weakened immune system after the canine flu virus was cleared. With the severe form of canine flu symptoms, make sure your animal stays well hydrated, as liquid is the key to preventing a major pneumonia infection in the time after the canine flu was cleared. In order to prevent the spread of the canine flu, be sure to keep your infected animal away from kennels, dog grooming facilities or any area where your dog may be at risk of spreading the canine flu to other dogs. Anything which comes in contact with a canine flu infected animal should be immediately washed to prevent a canine flu outbreak from spreading.

How do you treat canine flu symptoms?

Since the canine flu is caused by a virus, there is no real cure, naturally or via prescription medication, to eradicate it in your animal. While Tami flu is an option, it has not been tested nor approved for pets, so you will want to steer clear of that treatment unless you are absolutely desperate and willing to let your dog brave severe side effects.

A popular natural treatment for canine flu among other bacterial and viral illnesses in your dog is grapefruit seed extract (GSE), which, as the name implies, is made from the mashed up seeds of grapefruit. Tests in laboratories world over have come up with positive results from a GSE treatment. As an added benefit, there are no known side effects to the dosage. If you choose to treat the canine flu symptoms with grapefruit seed extract, simply mix some in with your dogÕs regular meals. Other natural means of fighting the canine flu in your pet include the use of: elecampane, fenugreek, mullein, maritime pine, rosehips, kelp, and coltsfoot. Each of these natural ingredients helps fight respiratory infection and boost the immune system to help control the canine flu virus.

Be sure to consult your veterinarian before deciding on a conventional or natural treatment to prevent canine flu outbreak.

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