Dog flu hits animal establishments in Pasir Ris Farmway area

Dog flu hits animal establishments in Pasir Ris Farmway area

dog shelter
File photo of a dog shelter. (Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP)

SINGAPORE: Cases of canine influenza have hit animal establishments in the Pasir Ris Farmway area, according to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

In a Facebook post on Monday (May 14), the authority said it received reports of "kennel cough" among dogs in the area and started investigating. 

"Samples collected from affected dogs have been found to be positive for canine influenza virus," said AVA.

"We are advising animal establishments within the area to seek veterinary treatment for their dogs, and practise good hygiene and biosecurity measures to limit the spread of the virus."

Canine influenza - also known as dog flu - is a type of flu that infects dogs, leading to symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge and reduced appetite. It is different from kennel cough, which is another type of respiratory infection in dogs.

Not all dogs will show signs of illness, and the disease is typically not life-threatening, with most dogs recovering within two or three weeks, according to AVA.

However, the illness can develop into something more serious. Puppies, elderly dogs and dogs with existing illnesses can subsequently develop pneumonia.

Canine influenza is not known to infect humans.

HOW IT SPREADS

The canine influenza virus can spread via coughing or sneezing from infected dogs, said AVA. 

It can also spread through objects contaminated by the "respiratory secretions" of an infected dog, such as food bowls, toys, bedding, collars and leashes that are shared between infected and uninfected dogs, added the authority.

The risk of the disease is highest when large numbers of dogs are "housed together in close confinement", said AVA.

ADVICE FOR DOG OWNERS

Pet owners should seek veterinary attention if their dogs are unwell, said AVA.

Owners should keep their unwell dog away from activities or facilities where other dogs are present, until it has fully recovered.

Owners should also practise good hygiene to minimise the risk of spreading the illness. 

This includes washing their hands with soap and water, before and after coming into contact with dogs and their immediate environment.


Source: CNA/nc

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