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Dog Flu Risk Highest Where Canines Mingle
Date:1/24/2010

s not emerged in cats that were exposed to infected dogs, Crawford said.

She suggested vaccinating dogs if they fall into one of the following high-risk categories:

  • Live in communities where the virus is prevalent.
  • Participate in canine conformation or sporting events, such as agility or obedience.
  • Go to boarding kennels, training facilities, day-care centers or grooming salons.

People working with dogs should also consider vaccinating their pets. "They don't want to bring this virus home from their workplace to their own pets and infect them," advises Crawford. "We've had lots of cases like that."

Those people can help prevent transmission of the virus by washing their hands and clothing in warm soapy water.

Whether this new respiratory virus is here to stay remains to be seen. "It can change and mutate on a whim," Crawford said.

"Those mutations or genetic changes can either increase the survival of the virus in the population, or the mutations can lead to disappearance of the virus," she said. "So it can go either way."

More information

Find out more about canine influenza at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Cynda Crawford, D.V.M., Ph.D., clinical assistant professor, Maddies Shelter Medicine Program, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville, Fla.; Edward Dubovi, Ph.D., professor, virology, and director, virology laboratory, Animal Health Diagnostic Center, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, N.Y.


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