It’s dog flu season, so Xi Shi will be protecting her immune system, in part, by wearing her new coat and boots.  Don't be too quick to laugh at doggie boots because dogs lose heat through their feet so let's keep those little paws warm. 

Canine Influenza was identified by the Center for Disease Control in 2005.  So it is a relatively new influenza, a serious problem for dogs only, not transferable to their humans.

Although it is true that nobody catches a cold by being cold, the challenges to the body, like sustained cold and wet, can challenge the immune system.  Protecting the body’s first line of defense - the skin and temperature maintenance - is part of dog longevity.

If your dog displays any symptoms, don’t wait around.  You need a vet and the necessary antibiotic (Clavamox) to assist in dealing with this viral illness.

Things to look for are:  sleepiness, lack of appetite, a runny nose and, finally, a cough.  Short nosed dogs (like Shih Tzus) may never get to the cough because their passages are so small, so don’t “wait and see.”  The virus itself weakens the system allowing secondary bacterial infections to thrive, which is where the Clavamox comes in.  This seemingly mild respiratory problem can progress to pneumonia, so too much “wait and see” can be dangerous.

Zi Shi Quan and I want to wish everybody a happy, healthy New Year and lots of winter fun!

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