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Is avian flu contagious for dogs?

Is avian flu contagious for dogs?

by Rizo Black, 3 March 2017

Media in Poland go viral again about AVIAN FLU H5N1 and yesterday (i.e. 28th Feb. 2017) experts confirmed the presence of the virus in a dead swan found at Vistula bank (Toruń). The risk of transmission the virus onto a human is minor, but what about Mr Dog? Can we easily walk at rivers? Can a dog catch avian flu? Is it contagious to dogs? 

According to prof. Andrzej ZieliÅ„ski, national epidemiologic consultant at ptasiagrypa.net: “THE RISK of infection with H5N1 of cats or dogs is MINOR, but we CAN’T EXCLUDE it. Pet owners should WATCH their ‘furries’ what they EAT or what they PLAY with on a walk.” (as we know, dogs are real “discoverers” of strange things)

Dr Jacek Kucharski from Veterinary Inspection in Gdańsk, said in one of the newspapers:
“The detected case of CAT’s disease with this virus proves, that PETS CAN BE succeptible to contagion. As far, there have been no cases of the disease IN DOGS, but we have to be careful. In case we notice our dog got in contact with a dead bird, we need to carry out disinfection. Proper means are available in vet stores. (…)
Prof. Elżbieta Samorek-Salamonowicz from National Veterinary Institute in PuÅ‚awy says: “Occurences of cats’ and tigers’ infection with H5N1 virus were recorded in 2004 in Vietnam and Thailand. In both cases the animals had been fed with meat of infected birds.
In 2006 avian flu was confirmed in a dead cat, which had been found on Rugia Isle in Germany. There are different KINDS of  H5N1 virus and the kinds differ: some infect only one species of animals, others can infect various species. The virus, which attacks cats is not necessarily dangerous for humans – as far, a case of a virus being transmitted from a cat onto a human has not been found. Laboratory tests have shown, that cats can fall with AVIAN FLU and that this kind of H5N1 can be passed AMONG the members of this species. It’s advisable NOT TO FEED animals on poultry meat. 
For a few years DOGS have suffered from FLU, which they catch from horses. The mystery how H3N8 virus was transmitted and got adapted to the new host’s organism was solved by Polish bio-IT scientists from Institute of Bio IT Laboratory BioInfoBank in PoznaÅ„.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) H5N1 virus can attack other species as well, like pigs, goats and horses. Within the tests lab-mice were infected with avian flu, too. A few cases of infected cats and tigers were recorded in Asia. The animals were fed on the meat of infected birds. The tests have also shown, that H5N1 can SPREAD among cats.
In 2006, in different states within the USA, several cases of avian flu among DOGS were recorded. The infection was the result, as in the case of humans, of direct CONTACT with infected birds, their guano, excretions or eating dead bird’s meat.
A dog can get infected only by DIRECT CONTACT:
The MAJOR risk is BIRDS’ GUANO, both for humans and dogs.One GRAM of duck’s droppings containing avian flu virus, can infect a MILLION of other birds (!). So, prevent Mr Dog from LICKING birds’ excrements on a pavement or a river bank. 

Another “black scenario”: Mr DOG disappeared into the shrubs and ATE / picked a dead bird. So that’s why, the most EXPOSED to infection DOG breeds are the ‘hunting’ ones (as they like to “disappear into the shrubs” and find ‘something’) and dogs working on bird-farms.

That’s why we should AVOID walking near water basins (rivers, lakes). As you can see below, Mr Dog gets interested in various “exciting” findings…


Although the infection occurs mainly by DIRECT CONTACT (as wxplained above), it is possible to get infected indirectly – contaminated equipment, transport, etc. The presence of the VIRUS was also detected in the YOLK and the WHITE of eggs from the infected birds.


Be careful with FOOD. If you buy POULTRY and EGGS, you have to stick to hygiene procedures. Along with the poultry, salmonella bacteria can be transmitted. That’s why, it is advisable to WASH HANDS as often as possible. THE DISHES and kitchen utensils used to prepare poultry, should not be used to prepare other meals.

Beware – the SPRING is coming, and according to veterinarian Artur DobrzyÅ„ski, the spreading of the avian flu is fostered by the autumn and spring birds migrations.

Although avian flu ahs been present for over a HUNDRED years, only in 1955 its true, viral background was discovered, and it was in this century that the dangers have been fully realized.

Since December 2003, the virus wreaked havoc among birds in South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Pakistan, Indonesia and Hong-kong.

In the beginning of 2004 the ilness entered to the USA, and in 2006 the first cases of the epidemy were recorded in Europe, among others in the Netherlands, Italy, Russia and Turkey.

The incubation period
from the infection with avian flu to occurence of the first symptoms – it takes from three to seven days.

Depending on the virulence of the virus, avian flu in birds can have different course:
over-severe - leads to instant death
severe: birds sport symptoms like: loss of apetite, fever, feather ruffling, weakness, laying eggs with very thin shells. The birds have swollen crests, diarrhea, difficulties with breathing, they prop with their beak against the ground.


  • Very good article. I am facing some of these issues as well..

  • I delight in reading through your site. It was unbelievably fascinating. :-)

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