SWINE FLU (H1N1) IN PETS
From the California Department of Public Health ( http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/H1N1Animals:
What animals can be infected with the H1N1 flu virus?In addition to humans, live swine and turkeys, a small number of ferrets (which are highly susceptible to influenza A viruses), domestic cats and dogs have been infected with 2009 H1N1 virus. In addition, 2009 H1N1 virus infection was reported in a cheetah in California. CDC is working closely with domestic and international public and animal heath partners to continually monitor reports of 2009 H1N1 in animals and will provide additional information to the public as it becomes available.
How do companion animals become infected with H1N1 flu?All available information suggests that the ferret, cat, and dog with 2009 H1N1 infections acquired the virus through close contact with ill humans. Transmission of 2009 H1N1 virus from humans to animals appears similar to human-to-human transmission.
Can I get H1N1 flu from my pet?Available evidence suggests that transmission has been from ill humans to their companion animals. No evidence is available to suggest that animals are infecting humans with 2009 H1N1 virus.
What should I do if I suspect my pet has H1N1 flu virus?If members of your household have flu-like symptoms, and your pet exhibits respiratory illness, contact your veterinarian.
Is there a flu vaccine available for my pet?Currently, there is not a licensed and approved 2009 H1N1 vaccine for pets. (There is a canine influenza vaccine, which protects dogs from the H3N8 canine flu virus, but it will not protect pets against the 2009 H1N1 virus and should not be used in any species other than dogs.)
Keep in mind that the symptoms associated with swine flu are commonly found with other illnesses as well. The American Veterinary Medical Association has information pertaining to confirmed cases of swine flu in pets. Click here to go to the AVMA site.