People May Infect Their Pets With H1N1

Yesterday, the American Veterinary Medical Association issued an alert regarding H1N1.  The virus was cultured from a Wisconsin cat.  Both of the family’s cats became ill after exposure to a family member with symptoms of the flu.  Even with supportive care, the cats’ conditions deteriorated to the point that the owners chose humane euthanasia to end their pets suffering. 

To protect your pets, keep them away from any human with the flu.  This is especially important for cats and ferrets who seem to be more susceptible to H1N1 than other species.  Practice good hygiene in your home by washing your hands frequently and especially before and after handling a pet.  Also, dispose of used tissues in a secure location as many pets like to get into the garbage and shred them. 

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.