Pets must be protected from bird flu

March 13, 2006

Purdue University veterinarians say pet owners can combat animal diseases such as bird flu with cleanliness and educated observation.

Cats and dogs were thought to be immune to the flu until 2004, when dogs exhibited the same signs as a flu virus strain found in horses. More recently, a study in the Netherlands that was published in January confirmed that cats are susceptible to bird flu.

Steve Thompson, director of the pet wellness clinic in Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine, said one concern is the virus can be transmitted through the litter box zone.

"Flu viruses are typically respiratory, but bird flu has been shown to attack intestinal tracts in animals as well," Thompson said. "That affects the way pets can pass the virus to each other."

Purdue veterinarian Lorraine Corriveau said: "Pet owners need to watch for clinical signs of respiratory problems and see their veterinarians if they spot any of the usual signs of a virus, such as runny eyes and nose or cough.

Corriveau said pet owners can minimize risk by keeping their environment clean. "Overall," she said, "if you see a dead bird, don't pick it up."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Bird flu vaccine protects people and pets

Related Stories

Bird flu vaccine protects people and pets

October 20, 2008

A single vaccine could be used to protect chickens, cats and humans against deadly flu pandemics, according to an article published in the November issue of the Journal of General Virology. The vaccine protects birds and ...

Australian expert rejects bird flu fears

November 3, 2005

A bird medicine specialist says the risk of human bird flu infection is small in Australia and people may still safely eat chicken and keep pet birds.

Swine flu toll includes a few pets

December 8, 2009

(AP) -- A handful of pets have been sickened with swine flu in recent weeks, but here are doctors' orders: Wash your hands and don't panic.

International team maps 'big bang' of bird evolution

December 11, 2014

The genomes of modern birds tell a story of how they emerged and evolved after the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs and almost everything else 66 million years ago. That story is now coming to light, thanks to an ...

Network uses pets as sentinels

March 26, 2006

U.S. researchers are using medical records of companion animals to develop an early warning system for disease threats including bird flu.

Recommended for you

Study finds 'rudimentary' empathy in macaques

December 1, 2015

(—A pair of researchers with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Université Lyon, in France has conducted a study that has shown that macaques have at least some degree of empathy towards their fellow ...

Scientists overcome key CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing hurdle

December 1, 2015

Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT have engineered changes to the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system that significantly cut down on "off-target" ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.