Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Canine Flu Epidemic

For the safety of our chihuahuas and chihuahua siblings, due to the Canine Flu outbreak, my Chihuahua group (South Suburban Chihuahua)  cancelled our April meetup and events through May. We had 30 chihuahuas signed up, and seven on the wait list eagerly awaiting a spot. But being healthy and staying healthy is a priority. It is extremely rare for us to cancel a meetup, but it would be irresponsible and unsafe for us to have a meetup during a time when there is an epidemic where we don't yet have all the answers.
   
 My doggie friend Sugar recently posted about this awful virus that is taking the Chicago area and surrounding cities by storm. Sadly, people are still frequenting dog parks, groomers and pet shops. Sugar's pawrents and mine both recently saw people with their dogs at local pet shops. Those thinking "it won't happen to me, my dog doesn't go to dog parks," are sadly mistaken. All they have to do is touch any surface where an infected pet or person who has it on their clothes, hands, or has been, and that person or pet brings it home to other pet siblings. Senior doggies like myself and Sugar, those with low immune systems and young pups, are more likely to have this hit us even harder. With this new strain, experts are recommending doggies get their shots because at least, the strength of the virus will be weakened and won't hit the dog as hard or long. But it's not just doggies, it's kitties too. As for me and my doggie siblings, Weasel (15yrs old), Daisy (8yrs old), Monkey (4yrs old) and our foster Teensy (9yrs old) we're under home quarantine. This means no outings past our backyard, until further notice. I don't even get to go with my momma anywhere in my carrier...but I understand why. 

Here is some of What we know:
~ The virus can be symptom free on a dog for up to ten days, while still being highly contagious 
~ If a person has had contact with other dogs that carry the virus, the virus can live on that person's clothes for up to 48 hours (different locations say different timings on this) and be spread to their own dogs (not people) 
~ The virus can be spread in locations such as dog parks, grooming salons, boarding/day care, forest preserves, pet stores, places where lots of dogs go for walks 
~ Cats can also catch it 

Here are some links: 
http://mediarelations.cornell.edu/2015/04/12/midwest-canine-influenza-outbreak-caused-by-new-strain-of-virus/?hc_location=ufi
http://abc7chicago.com/pets/bark-in-the-park-2015-canceled-by-dog-flu/644459/ http://www.cdc.gov/flu/news/dog-flu-chicago.htm http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/news/20150408/dog-flu-outbreak 
http://www.chicagonow.com/steve-dales-pet-world/2015/04/dog-flu-epidemic-could-spread/
 http://patch.com/illinois/evergreenpark/canine-flu-outbreak-shuts-down-evergreen-park-dog-park

And for those asking, yes, I did get my doggie shot -- going back next week for the booster.

1 comment:

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