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Pets and Swine Flu

By Dr. Andrew Jones

The Swine Flu ‘Epidemic’ has created a host
of concerned pet owners..

I have received many an email on this topic,
so I feel that it is important to clear
up some misconceptions- and set your mind
at ease.

Can your dog or cat get the Swine Flu?


There are ZERO cases reported, and in
fact no evidence that ANY swine virus has
ever mutated and become infectious to dogs
or cats.

Can my Dog or Cat pass the Swine Flu to
me or other people?


There are NO cases of ANY Dog/Cat to
Human Viral disease transmissions-
including Influenza (Flu) Viruses.

Our Dogs and Cats have viruses UNIQUE to
their species- and there has NEVER been
a recorded case of a person becoming ILL
with a Virus from their dog or cat.

What is the Swine Flu Virus?

The official name is H1N1 Flu Virus-
it has mutated and it is now infectious
from people to people.

Pigs, as dogs and cats and ALL other
mammals often get Flu viruses, but generally
these viruses are Species specific.

The BIG concern in this case is this is
a NEW virus, and we humans have little
NATURAL immunity to this virus- hence
all the media coverage.

Fortunately it is acting typical to MOST
Flu viruses- you get typical Flu signs:

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

* Fever over 101 F (38 C) in adults, and often
as high as 103 to 105 F (39.5 C to 40.5 C) in children
* Chills and sweats
* Headache
* Dry cough
* Muscular aches and pains, especially in your back,
arms and legs
* Fatigue and weakness
* Nasal congestion
* Loss of appetite
* Diarrhea and vomiting in children

Most people with this virus have relatively minor
Flu symptoms- and they recover pretty quickly.

Important Points to Know

It’s also good to put this into perspective-
Every year in the U.S. and Canada OVER 40000 people
die of of the common Human Flu viruses.

Most often these are older people, who have compromised
immune systems, and the Flu leads to pneumonia.

To date the Swine Flu is responsible for 2
deaths in the U.S.

Clearly this is NOT a major health concern,
and it does NOT warrant all of the news coverage.

Information on the Dog Flu

Dogs to get a Flu virus, the most recent being
a influenza A H3N8 influenza virus (not a human influenza
virus) that was originally an equine (horse) influenza virus.
This virus has spread to dogs and can now spread between dogs.

The symptoms of this illness in dogs are cough, runny nose
and fever, however, a small proportion of dogs can develop
severe disease.

While this virus infects dogs and spreads between dogs,
there is no evidence that this virus infects humans.

Cat Flu Viruses

Cat’s get 2 common Flu viruses- A Feline Herpes
Virus and Feline Calici Virus.

The most obvious sign is a cat with a runny nose, often
accompanied by swollen and runny eyes. Most cats will also be sneezing.

While this virus infects cats and spreads between cats,
there is no evidence that this virus infects humans.

Treating Dogs and Cats with the Flu

In most cases, the virus will run its course in 7-10 days,
so supportive care is needed.


KEEP HER EATING. One of the best ways to help your pett’s immune
system is by ensuring adequate food intake. Warm up her favorite
canned food, or add a small amount (1/8 teaspoon) of garlic.
If her regular food is not appetizing, then switch to something
like canned tuna for cats- or higher fat/higher protein food
for dogs

ORDER UP FLORIDA. Humidity is fabulous for easing congestion and
improving breathing. Use a humidifier or put your pet in the bathroom
and turn up the shower.

WIPE AWAY. Use a damp cloth to wipe crusted discharge around the nose
and eyes.

OPEN THE AIRWAYS. For some pets with severe nasal congestion I have
used Pediatric Otrivin. Use one drop in each nostril 3 times daily for 3-5 days.

AMINO ACID LYSINE. L-lysine has proven anti-viral activity, and is a
mainstay in treating and curing cats with recurrent Herpes Virus
respiratory infections. It comes as a Veterinary paste, (Enisyl).
The dose is 1 ml (250 mg) twice daily for at least 12 weeks.


Boosting the immune system is what is most important in recovering from the flu.

ECHINACEA. The most important herb, the pet dose is 1-2 drops per pound
3 times daily (of alcohol-free tincture). Give for no longer than 2 weeks.


Several alternative veterinarians have had success using homeopathy
in respiratory infections.

ALLIUM CEPA. Useful for watery nasal discharge causing sneezing;
give one 30C twice daily for 5-7 days.

EUPHRASIA OFFICINALIS. Also effective for symptom relief; give one
30C twice daily for 5-7 days.

Closing Comments

It is very unlikely that YOU will get the Swine Flu-
and your dogs or cat are NOT at risk.

Your pets cannot spread viruses to you- the Swine
Flu is a very unique – an atypical occurrence.

In fact your pets- your dogs and cats are likely
BOOSTING your immune system via the Human Animal
Bond, ensuring that you are more resistant to any
disease that comes your way.

Enjoy your pets!

Dr Andrew Jones


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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Pet health | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Pets and Swine Flu”

  1. Avatar Jean McKinney Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Dr. Jones,

    There has been so much hysteria about the swine flu. Thanks for taking the time to set the record straight.

  2. Avatar Jenny Forst Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    RE Cat Flu Viruses

    You said cats get 2 common Flu viruses- A Feline Herpes Virus and Feline Calici Virus, and that this virus spreads between cats, but that there is no evidence that this virus infects humans.

    Can a cat virus infect a dog when they live in the same household, or viceversa. Can a dog’s virus infect the cat?

  3. Avatar Nancy Ball Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Excellent post! I agree the news media is getting carried away with this.

  4. Avatar Annette Says:
    May 10th, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    I give my cats 1mg of chlortrimiton 2x a day if they are really congested as instructed by my former country vet. It seems to help. He actually said to give 1/2 tab or 2mg 2x a day, but with my furbabies, I find the 1mg seems sufficient and I choose to not stress out their liver with meds anymore than necessary.
    I only give this if there is excessive sneezing or when my cat is “blowing bubbles” from his nose
    because he’s so congested.

    I feel so badly that they cannot tell us when they need help and we have to guess. By the time
    a cat shows distress, it’s generally severe since they are such noble and fearless animals.

    Doc Andy, I am wondering if *I* can pass a cold or flu to my animals?? I’ve had a bad cold/bronchitis and an aged diabetic cat that I must inject w/insulin 2x a day. I’m really worried that he might get sick and try to be scrupulously clean, but am worried I may pass it onto him. Perhaps you could address this in an upcoming email??
    PS. I’d LOVE to get your new update, but our income has been reduced by about 33% it’s just too hard right now. Perhaps by the next revision
    it will be possible
    (which I hope contains MORE on cats specifically as I found the 1st to be about much much more about dogs) Or maybe you could someday put out a package SPECIFICALLY for cats and one specifically for dogs. Just a thought.
    It might help lower the cost if people have only one or the other to choose to buy.

  5. Avatar Carrie Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Hello Doctor, I am a bit confused because you wrote :

    “Our Dogs and Cats have viruses UNIQUE to
    their species- and there has NEVER been
    a recorded case of a person becoming ILL
    with a Virus from their dog or cat.”

    As far as I’m aware, Rabies is a virus, and it has been passed from dogs to humans. Is this incorrect?


  6. Avatar Jan Ault Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    I feel so sorry for this little dog who died at the lack of compassion and caring of this so-called vet! Either he is plain blind in vision or blind in his heart because just looking at this baby’s picture I would have known he needed immediate help! And he would have gotten it because I would have taken this case!!!!!!!!!
    The ethics and moral responsibility of a good,caring vet speaks loud and clear-this so-called vet lost his vocal cords,I think,years ago and doesn’t deserve the right or privilege practicing his brand of Mal-Practice and lack of Humane Practice!
    There needs to be charges filed with as much press coverage possible to put every vet on notice! And let the public know that the responsibility rests on everyone’s shoulders to protect all of “God’s Animal Kingdom!”
    God BLESS this sweet baby as she/he plays with other doggies at The”RainBow”Bridge! And may this ingrate have a big enough shovel to sustain his after death activities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Most Thoughtfully Yours!

  7. Avatar Lenise Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 6:54 am

    If your cat has flu, a good and effective remedy is ARSEN ALB 6c.

    I had a tiny kitten of just eight weeks who had it and I crushed two tablets uo and mixed it in a tiny portion strong smelling fish (I used Pilchards) three times a day. My kitten recovered within a week. He had had it for a few days beore I realised what it was though. The way I found out was that I sold his sister to a woman who took the kitten to the and she wrote to me and told me that her kitten had cat flu. I went right out and bought some Arsen Alb.


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM