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Monday, May 4, 2009

Can the Swine Flu Infect your Cat or Dog or other Pet?

Overall, the answer to this question that many pet owners are worrying about is "NO".

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released a statement a couple of days ago saying the virus, which seems to have originated in Mexico, "appears to present a low risk of infecting cats and dogs." The American Veterinary Medical Association also is saying "there is no evidence that pets are susceptible to this new strain of influenza."

"At this time there is no data demonstrating any risk of dogs and cats contracting this strain of the virus," says Dr. Louise Murray, the 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 animal's health more closely during this outbreak. Steps to limit possible transmission from humans to pigs and vice versa are recommended."

The "Swine Flu" is a strain of Influenza Type A. While the normal version of "Swine Flu" causes outbreaks of influenza with low mortality rates in pigs, the strain which is currently causing human deaths is not the same virus.

The new strain combines genes from human, pig, and bird flu and is similar to the strain that caused "Spanish Flu", responsible for a human pandemic in 1918.

"Swine Flu" is an entirely different virus to the "Bird Flu" which was widely talked about last year, and among the most important differences is that "Bird Flu" infected humans who had direct contact with infected birds, where as "Swine Flu" is being transmitted from human to human.

Even though the experts are saying that your pet CANNOT get the swine flu, you should contact your veterinarian any time your pet develops symptoms of a respiratory infection.

If your pet suffers from allergies, try Homeopet's Allergy Relief - Pet Nose Relief pictured above.

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