Your Dog Can Catch the Flu
Your Dog Can Catch the Flu – Symptoms of canine flu include a persistent cough, thick nasal discharge, a fever, and lethargy.
Your Dog Can Catch the Flu – Since we’re experiencing the worst flu season in over a decade, you’ve likely taken a few precautions to keep the illness at bay like getting a flu shot and stocking up on cold and flu medicines.
Your Dog Can Catch the Flu – According to a recent report by The New York Times, a number of dogs have been infected with H3N2, a highly contagious strain of canine influenza.
Your Dog Can Catch the Flu
Also known as the dog flu, canine influenza is a respiratory disease caused by specific Type A influenza viruses known to infect dogs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, canine influenza is believed to pose a low threat to people; there is currently no evidence that the disease can spread to humans.
For our four-legged friends, however, canine flu can spread rapidly.
The illness is thought to be transmitted among dogs through respiratory droplets produced during coughing and sneezing from infected canines or through contact with contaminated surfaces.
If your dog is coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease, they shouldn’t be exposed to other animals, notes the CDC.
Although your dog can contract canine influenza at any time, the recent uptick in cases is believed to be largely caused by a recent shift in behaviors among Americans.
Previously emptied shelters are full again and more dogs are spending time together in kennels and day care, the New York Times cites as possible reasons for the surge.
Experts are encouraging dog owners to be on the lookout for symptoms associated with the respiratory illness, which can last anywhere from two to three weeks.
Your Dog Can Catch the Flu – Common symptoms include a persistent cough, thick nasal discharge, and a fever (often between 104 to 105 degrees), notes the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite may also be present in infected canines.
While there is a vaccine to treat the illness in dogs, it’s not 100% effective, reports USA Today.
On the other hand, it can help prevent your companion from contracting the flu and possibly limit the severity of their symptoms.
Beyond vaccination, dog owners can help prevent the spread of canine flu by isolating sick dogs and practicing good hygiene and sanitation.
Your Dog Can Catch the Flu – The AVMA recommends thoroughly cleaning shared items and kennels to reduce the transmission of the illness—and it certainly can’t hurt to wipe down your pup’s toys and crates regularly, too.
Canine influenza can spread quickly through shelters, kennels and day care facilities, although most dogs will recover on their own, experts said.
Testing to confirm H3N8 and H3N2 canine influenza virus infection in dogs is available.
Your veterinarian can tell you if testing is appropriate.
Your Dog Can Catch the Flu – What is Canine Influenza (Dog Flu)
Your Dog Can Catch the Flu – -Canine influenza (also known as dog flu) is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by specific Type A influenza viruses known to infect dogs.
These are called “canine influenza viruses.”
No human infections with canine influenza have ever been reported.
There are two different influenza A dog flu viruses: one is an H3N8 virus and the other is an H3N2 virus.
Canine influenza A(H3N2) viruses are different from seasonal influenza A(H3N2) viruses that spread annually in people.
Your Dog Can Catch the Flu – Signs of Canine Influenza
The signs of this illness in dogs are cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite, but not all dogs will show signs of illness.
The severity of illness associated with canine flu in dogs can range from no signs to severe illness resulting in pneumonia and sometimes death.
Most dogs recover within 2 to 3 weeks. However, some dogs may develop secondary bacterial infections which may lead to more severe illness and pneumonia.
Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health, or whose pet is showing signs of canine influenza, should contact their veterinarian.