Canine Influenza, also known as the Dog Flu, is a highly-contagious respiratory disease in dogs. It’s caused by specific Type A influenza viruses that infect canines. Humans do not contract the virus; they get a different type of influenza.
Dog Flu Symptoms
Some symptoms of dog flu include:
• Runny nose
• Lack of appetite
• Fever of 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit
Up to 20% of canines do not show symptoms of the dog flu. That’s what makes it even more dangerous and easily spread, as your dog may come into contact with and infect other dogs in the neighborhood or community without you even realizing it.
Pugs, French bulldogs, and Pekinese have a harder time dealing with the flu. Their smushed-in faces affect their respiratory tract and inhibit proper breathing.
How to Prevent Canine Influenza from Spreading
Almost all dogs are susceptible to the dog flu. There are some things people do to prevent the disease from spreading.
An approved vaccine to protect dogs against canine influenza A H3N8 is available in the U.S. By now, most of you have heard about the canine flu outbreak in the Chicago area earlier this year. The strain found in that outbreak was H3N2. At this time, it’s unknown if the H3N8 offers protection against the H3N2 strain of the dog flu virus.
Dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to the virus. This would include dog parks, daycare and boarding facilities. In addition, if there are multiple dogs in the household, the sick dog should be isolated, along with any objects they have contact with, such as bowls, toys, blankets, etc. A contaminated toy or water bowl could make an uninfected dog sick. Disinfecting clothes, equipment, surfaces, and hands is a priority and the best way to keep the dog flu from spreading.
The dog flu requires treatment through the form of medication, fluids and broad spectrum antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian.
Contact Petland Overland Park
If you have any more questions about the health and wellness of your dog, please stop by Petland Overland Park or call us at (913) 498-9814. Our knowledgeable Pet Counselors are eager to ensure your pup has a happy, healthy life!