Friday, May 1, 2009

Dog Smarts for Swine Flu & the Worried Well

Dog Smarts for
Swine Flu & the Worried Well
by Cal Orey, M.A. Health Author

As we are learning more and more about the Swine Flu (the popular term), there is both good news and bad news. First, the glitch is, while this virus may not be as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu--it doesn't discriminate. Translation: People with healthy immune systems are not immune.
On the upside, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you get and stay healthier and you end up contracting the virus from getting infected by another person, your body will be in better shape to fight the symptoms of the flu and get well faster.
For now, there are two prescribed anti-viral drugs. One vaccine is in the works for what is now technically called "influenza A(H1N1) virus" and "H1N1 flu" (but "Swine Flu" is still used in the mainstream media)--which continues to spread around the globe. More good news: this flu doesn't seem to have the same deadly nature as other pandemic viruses have had in the past--so far.
So, today's must-have list of tricks is shorter. Here, is what you can do as we the people are in a wait-and-see mode.
Five Dog Tricks
1. Wash your paws frequently. Viruses can be transmitted by shaking someone's hand and then touching your face, nose or mouth. This is probably the most important strategy. Refer to my previous blog for the Four Thieves Formula--apple cider vinegar and herbs.
2. Eat good chow. A nutrient-dense diet (including disease-fighting antioxidant rich vegetables) will help keep your immune system strong.
3. Get a move on. Keeping physical daily will keep you happy and relaxed--two keys to staying balanced.
4. Chill out. By keeping your stress levels down, you can keep your immune system up and healthy. And yes, if you do contract the flu your body will be stronger to fight it.
5. Be social smart. Use your common sense. I don't take my healthy dogs to the dog park chock-full of pooches I do not know. It's a precautionary exercise to avoid dealing with potential contagious canine respiratory diseases. Social distancing for humans is in motion and may be a smart trick for the worried well.
The bottom line: Rent the sci-fi film I Am Legend. It's a heartfelt cautionary tale especially for dog lovers. Dr. Neville's (Will Smith) loyal German Shepherd Sam--and lifeline to life--was not immune to the killer virus but he was 1% of the population with an immunity to it, the worst-case deadly virus scenario that hits home.
In one unforgettable scene, the four-legger gets a bath by her isolated owner (think Cast Away and Tom Hanks) for viral protection (I'm assuming). [Click on the link to watch.]


  1. Testing to see how easy it is to post a comment.

  2. It's simple. All you do is comment (anonymous is easiest)and type in the funny word that shows up to show that you are a humanoid and that's it. A done deal. Love to hear your thoughts about the "Swine Flu." Will it fizzle? Will it comeback in the fall to haunt us (again)? Are you prepared? Do you feel the media is on hype overload? Share. Share. Share.