Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog
(Photo Credit: Damedeeso / Getty Images)
This summer, health officials in Ramsey County as well as the counties of Sherburne, Wright, Crow Wing, and Kandiyohi in Minnesota reported confirmed cases of canine parainfluenza. Also known as the dog flu, canine parainfluenza is highly contagious. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that it originated as an avian flu in horses and gradually adapted and infected dogs. However, dogs cannot transmit parainfluenza to people.
- Walking with a limp
- Blistering skin
- Licking or chewing his feet
- Parts of the paw pad have a darker color or is missing
- Refusal to walk any further
- Extreme redness
Preventing Burns to Your Dog’s Paw Pads
Your dog still needs to exercise, even when it’s hot and humid outside. It’s not necessary to avoid taking her outside for fear of a hot asphalt injury, but you do need to take precautions. This starts with making sure that you lead your dog on the walk and not the other way around. This allows you to spot metal surfaces, hot sidewalks, and other dangers and steer clear of them. If it looks too hot for your dog to walk on, you will either have to carry her if possible or take a detour to find a cooler, grassy area to complete your walk.
Other Tips for Surviving the Hot Weather
It will be time for back to school before you know it. Make sure you enjoy the rest of the summer with your dog by keeping her hydrated and not allowing her to spend several hours each day in the direct path of the sun. We also urge you to never leave your dog in a hot car, not even for a minute. Your dog can become very ill or succumb to the heat much faster than you probably thought possible.
Cats who live in unsanitary conditions and those who have not received a vaccination are most at risk of acquiring this virus. It can spread very quickly in boarding facilities and animal shelters. This is the reason why Minnesota Veterinary Hospital requires all cat owners to show proof of the calicivirus vaccine before boarding with us. Another way the virus spreads is when a non-infected cat has contact with the sneeze droplets, eye discharge, or other type of bodily fluid from an infected cat.
A cat with calicivirus typically has clear discharge coming from the eyes and nose and will sneeze frequently. A normally rambunctious kitten or cat will not have the same energy level and show little interest in eating. Some other symptoms your cat could display include:
- Breathing difficulty
- Struggles to chew food
- Squinting due to eye ulcers
- Pink eye
- Ulcers in the mouth
Be sure to wipe the discharge from your cat’s eyes often to prevent them from crusting shut. A damp towel works just fine. We also recommend keeping the stress in your cat’s life to a minimum while he gets better. You may have to coax him to eat since the virus affects his sense of smell and cats don’t like eating anything they can’t smell. Another thing you can do is turn the shower on and then hold your cat in the bathroom for a few minutes. Breathing in the hot steam can help clear his lungs and sinuses.