A thrtreen years old dog from the town of Bedford Hills in New York has become the first dog affected by H1N1 virus. Authorities from The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) confirmed this week that the Bedford dog has swine flu.
According to the officials the dog is now at home after spending two days in an animal hospital. It belonged to a person who a week earlier had also been diagnosed with H1N1 influenza virus. The dog owner decided to take the pet to a local animal hospital after observing the symptoms like high fever, dry cough, tiredness and lack of appetite. The veterinarians conducted an exhaustive review of dog's health ruling the diagnosis of H1N1 in the animal.
The AVMA said that the analysis, conducted in laboratories around New York and in Iowa indicated that the dog was negative to a canine flu virus known as H3N8. However, the pet was positive for the same influenza known in humans as H1N1 or swine flu.
Currently the pet is recovering well at home. The dog will undergo further veterinary visits to confirm the good health and the successful recovery.
However, IDEXX Laboratories, that confirmed the swine flu in the New York dog, sounded an "alert" that H1N1 influenza is now confirmed in household pets. IDEXX says that household pets experiencing the above-mentioned symtoms should be checked for pet swin flu. "Testing should be considered in any pet with evidence of respiratory disease. The shedding period of influenza viruses is short. Samples should be submitted for testing within 7 days of the onset of clinical signs to avoid negative results in infected animals," writes IDEXX.
Assessing the situation of the pet H1N1 infection, IDEXX writes that focal lung lobe consolidation can be a consequence of influenza infections. However, it is unknown at this time if the swin flu is the primary cause of this dog’s illness. The researchers conclude that H1N1 infection may have contributed to the dog’s clinical signs.
IDEXX encourages pet owners to contact the organization at 1-888-433-9987 for consultation if they feel there is a possible H1N1 influenza virus case.
Written by Armen Hareyan