PurinaCare extends coverage for canine flu

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Nov 24, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
San Antonio, Texas -- Clients who use PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance now can receive reimbursement for the treatment or prevention of the H3N8 flu virus, otherwise known as canine influenza virus.

This viral strain, which was first identified in dogs in 2004, has spread quickly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that H3N8 has now been identified in more than 30 states.

Treatment often involves intravenous fluid therapy, electrolyte replacement, diuretics, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and cough suppressants. And some dogs at high-risk for contracting H3N8, such as those in kennels, boarding facilities, animal shelters, or dog shows, may warrant receiving a vaccination against this virus. Both treatment and prevention costs are covered by PurinaCare.

Owners should be on the lookout for signs of the disease in their dogs, including fever, coughing, a runny nose, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Prompt care is necessary to prevent the possible development of secondary bacterial pneumonia, which can be life-threatening in extreme cases.