The Dog (and Cat) Flu in Chicago

You guys,

The Flu is uncool.

The Flu is not to be trusted.

Serious business here in Chicago. Some of you may have heard that we’ve had a major outbreak of flu in dogs . As it turns out, it can also be caught by cats. Here’s a quick time line of events as they happened in our life:

  • MomFOD took Niles to the doctor and overheard them discussing a dog who was “more congested than we’ve ever seen before and had to be hospitalized”
  • The first reports of the flu appeared on the news
  • Dog parks and boarding centers began to shut down. Dog owners were advised strongly to keep their dogs away from others.
  • Chicago TV news indicated that the strain of flu has never been seen outside of China and Korea and that dogs here in the US have almost no immunity to it and the current vaccines aren’t preventing it
  • The flu is found to last up to 48 hours on clothing and hard surfaces and is highly contagious
  • It is discovered that cats can also catch the flu
  • 1100 cases have been reported in Chicago with six deaths thus far

So how are we handling it here? As many of you know, we live in a high rise building in a very crowded area of the city. Doodle is the high risk since she has to leave the building at least three times a day and is unable to do so without running into at least three or more dogs along the way. Therefore, the FODs made the decision to leave her sequestered at the GrandFOD’s house with their dogs. None of them are being allowed to go out for walks, to parks, or to interact with any other dogs. They are being exercised in a private yard.

Both cats and dogs are susceptible.

Both cats and dogs are susceptible.

Some boarding centers have reopened and some parks still remain available to dogs, but people are being urged to avoid contact. Humans should wash their hands after petting any dogs because, although it’s not contagious to people, it can be spread to other animals.

What are the symptoms?

Look for signs of coughing, lethargy, runny nose, and fever.

"No flu for Doo!"

“No flu for Doo!”

 

If your dog presents these symptoms, call your doctor right away. You may need to wait for an appointment since the vets here are overrun with cases. Some vets are asking symptomatic dogs to stay in their cars until they’re seen and to wear masks within the offices.

And still, despite all this, we’ve seen several reports of people on the news saying they’re “unconcerned” and “meh… he’s healthy.” We here are refusing to take any chances with a senior cat, several animals over 10, and kittens with undeveloped immune systems. Doodle stays where it’s safe until this has passed.

What would you do?

Love,

Crepes.

 

Sources and further reading: NBC News

Chicago Tribune