Augusta, Georgia – Holiday travel this season could be harmful to your pet. The K-9 Influenza has affected nearly 200 dogs in metro Atlanta and is highly contagious and spreads quickly. WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman spoke with experts about how to prevent your dog from being infected.
Just like in humans there are many signs to tell if your pet has been infected, but unlike the human Influenza shot dogs have to get several shots to be protected. “It can be life threatening and I wouldn’t say that people need to be fearful but just aware,” said Augusta Animals Services Kennel Operations Manager, Priscilla Crisler.
Crisler says if you’re travelling with your dog this holiday season, you should get your pet vaccinated.Experts suggest there are ways K-9 Influenza spreads.
“It can be transmitted airborne. It can be transmitted on clothing. Organic material for instance is another way that it can be transmitted,” Daniel Mayne, Columbia County Animal Services Operations Manager told WJBF News Channel 6.
Like humans dogs show signs that they are sick and pet owners need to pay close attention to those signs. “They are going to have nasal discharge. They are going to be lethargic, dehydrated.” Mayne said.
“You can see if their eyes are starting to water or maybe they are coughing or any unusual behavior. If there is unusual behavior and you suspect it may be the flu or something going on. I would go ahead and take them to the vet’s office.” Linda Glasscock, Columbia County Animal Services Manager told WJBF News Channel 6, but there are many ways to prevent your dog from being infected.
“Make sure any areas your animals are in are sanitized or clean. We thoroughly believe in socializing animals but with this flu outbreak you have to be a little more careful.” Glasscock added.
Dogs must get two doses of the K-9 Flu shot to be fully protected from the virus, but if you’re furry friend does get the Flu it is treatable. “It’s primarily treated systematically. Treat the symptoms for viruses and let the immune system of the animal eventually conquer the virus,” Mayne said.
Pet owners should consider getting the K-9 Flu shot as a preventive measure. Columbia County Animal Services says a list of veterinarians in the area that offer the dog flu vaccination will be posted on its Facebook Page.
That link should be there later tonight or Thursday morning and here in the link: Columbia County Animal Services Facebook.