Home General Pet Entries H1N1 (Swine Flu) and Your Pets: Revisited

H1N1 (Swine Flu) and Your Pets: Revisited

I found that the ASPCA is talking about the H1N1 Virus, formerly called the Swine Flu, on their website again. I made a post about H1N1 and your pets back in May 2009, and you can read it here. Since they have revisited the issue, and after reading what I posted, I felt that I should talk about this again as well.

If you just read my previous post, I do want to comment on that post quickly. I made this comment, “especially when there is no reason to panic over people getting the swine flu in the United States. Although, the media seems to be trying hard to create one…” and I did not get any comments on this post, but I did receive some votes that told me they did not like the article. I think this is why I may have gotten the negative votes.

Now that it is several months later, there are still cases of H1N1, and I admit that the situation has gotten worse in the U.S. There are a reported 4108 human deaths in the world, per the World Health Organization, and 87 human deaths in the U.S., per h1n1.flu-virus.org. I want to say that I do admit that this has become a problem for humans in the U.S., and I am retracting that opinion in my previous post, but there is still no need to panic.

Now, pet parents can still stay calm about their dogs and cats. There are no cases of any dogs or cats catching the H1N1 virus, and experts feel they are relatively safe from catching it. Just like before, they do warn that viruses are unpredictable and things can change. “Many species can become infected with influenza viruses, but the current 2009 H1N1 virus, which is a mixture of genetic material from different species, has not been identified in animal populations in the United States to date,” says Dr. Miranda Spindel, Director of ASPCA Veterinary Outreach. For now we don’t have to worry about it, unless you have certain animals for pets.

Influenza and flu viruses can be transmitted from humans to certain animals like pigs, turkeys, and ferrets. Actually, turkeys have been identified as having the H1N1 virus. So, if you do have these types of animals, please take extra precautions if you, or any other humans, are around your animals to make sure any flu virus does not get transmitted to them. If you notice your animals exhibiting any signs of illness, you should consult your veterinarian.

You should also keep a close eye on your dogs, cats, and other types of pets. Take precautions so they don’t share anything with other animals, make sure they are properly vaccinated, and don’t let them roam freely. If you notice any unusual symptoms in your dogs or cats, please consult your vet.

You can read the article on the ASPCA website here.

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