0 Comments | Dec 03, 2009

Are You Ready For The Dog And Cat Flu?

Just in case you weren’t panicking enough over the swine flu, it turns out that the virus that causes it, H1N1, can make dogs, cats and ferrets sick, too. H1N1 got its nickname, the swine flu, due to its origin in pigs, but it’s really a genetic mashup of human, swine and bird viruses.

Because it can cause serious illness and even death in susceptible humans, particularly infants and pregnant women, veterinarians greeted the recent news that it could affect family pets with alarm. The first cases in pets were reported in ferrets, which are notoriously prone to influenza viruses. But when the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reported┬álast month that a sick cat in Iowa had the disease, epidemiologists and virologists took notice. It was the first time a cat had become ill from an influenza virus. Dr. Tony Johnson, a clinical assistant professor at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, said that it doesn’t look like our pets are a risk to us.

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