Cat and dog flu is extremely common and while the cooler months mark flu season for human, the canine and feline versions of the virus are prevalent all year round.
Cat and dog flu is extremely common and while the cooler months mark flu season for human, the canine and feline versions of the virus are prevalent all year round. Thinkstock

Feeling the flu? Pets do, too

IF YOU are battling to overcome the dreaded winter cold or flu, spare a thought for your pets - humans are not the only ones who can experience a runny nose or cough.

Cat and dog flu is extremely common and while the cooler months mark flu season for human, the canine and feline versions of the virus are prevalent all year round.

Bundaberg Vet Cross veterinarian Andrew Marland said while humans could not share cold or flu germs with cats and dogs, and vice versa, cat and dog flu was highly contagious between animals of the same species.

"We tend to see the problem occur where high numbers of dogs or cats are living together or when they come into contact with other animals such as at dog parks," he said.

"Cat flu symptoms include sneezing, running eyes and a snotty runny nose.

"Kennel cough is the most common virus for dogs and the first symptom is a really harsh persistent cough."

While the mortality rate for dogs and cats with the flu is low, Mr Marland said a significantly high number of cats and dogs contracted the virus.

"As it's a virus we can only treat the secondary symptoms," he said.

Mr Marland said the best advice he could give pet owners was to vaccinate their pets against the flu.


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