JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Pets may be susceptible to swine flu virus

Thousands of Americans have been infected with the H1N1 flu virus, but that’s just counting people. This week it was announced a domestic cat in Iowa also was stricken with the virus — most likely transmitted by sick owners — as well as two ferrets in Nebraska and Oregon.

This sudden infection may have pet owners wanting to put their furry friends in line for an H1N1 flu shot, but state veterinarian experts say not to worry. (H1N1 or any type flu vaccines are a bad idea!!  We are over vaccinating our pets, just like we are over vaccinating ourselves and our children.)

“Theoretically, you could pass it on to pets, but the chances are extremely low,” said Dr. Bob Ehlenfeldt, a state veterinarian in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

The reversal of pets transmitting the virus to humans is even less likely, he said.

The chances are so low, according to Ehlenfeldt, because the H1N1 novel 2009 flu virus is a human disease being transmitted and maintained in humans. It’s unusual for species other than humans to become infected because viruses tend to adapt to certain species, he said.

For example, the bird flu from a few years ago was highly adaptable to infecting birds, whereas this strain of the H1N1 flu is adept at people-to-people transmission, he said.

Besides the cat and the ferrets, the only other non-human species known to have been infected with the virus are about a dozen swine herds worldwide, and recently some turkeys in Chile, according to Ehlenfeldt and Dr. Jim Kazmierczak, a state veterinarian in the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

The infection of the ferrets, however, didn’t surprise Kazmierczak because the lanky rodents are thought to be susceptible since they are used as laboratory animals and are sensitive to human strains of influenza, he said.

Also, since turkeys were infected, Kazmierczak said it could be possible for other types of birds to get the virus. So far, however, no incidents have been reported.

“The safe thing to do is to assume that while we know cats and ferrets are susceptible, we should assume dogs and pet birds are also susceptible,” Kazmierczak said.

Thus, owners infected with the H1N1 flu should still be careful around their pets and maintain distance from them as you would with other family members.  It really is a matter of common sense!!!

For example, Kazmierczak said to relocate a bird cage if it is positioned in the room in which an infected person may be recuperating.
Also, wash your hands before handling or feeding the pet, he advised

By Hilary Dickinson – Published: Saturday, November 7, 2009 12:57 AM CST
hdickinson@beloitdailynews.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet – Cross Posted:  True Health Is True Wealth

Related: 

Katie Couric  Reports on Serious Vaccine Safety Issues – Finally

First Daughters Not Vaccinated Against H1N1

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can My Pet Catch Swine Flu?

Pig

Don’t worry, pet parents! The recent, rapid outbreak of the H1N1 virus, previously known as swine flu, appears to present little risk of infecting our furry friends. In the past few weeks, only humans have been affected by the new virus, and it’s still unknown how the virus will impact other species.

“Currently there’s no data demonstrating any risk of dogs and cats contracting this strain of the virus,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Hospital in New York City. “However, owners of pet pigs, as well as farmers, should monitor their animals’ health more closely and take steps to limit transmission from humans to pigs and vice versa.”

If you do count a pet pig as your animal companion, please consult with your veterinarian about a Type A influenza vaccine, which is available and recommended for all healthy swine.

Dr. Miranda Spindel, Director of ASPCA Veterinary Outreach, adds: “Swine influenza or swine flu is one of the leading causes of respiratory disease in swine throughout the world. Like most influenza A viruses, swine flu generally causes high levels of illness in pigs, but fatalities are uncommon.”

For the latest information about the outbreak and your pet’s health, please visit the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu). If you suspect your pet is ill or if he exhibits any sudden changes in behavior, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Read the ASPCA’s official statement on swine flu.

May 2, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets | , , , , , , | 4 Comments