Canine Influenza: Educate Yourself

September 10, 2012

Canine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by a specific Type A influenza virus. Canine influenza is ONLY in dogs, it is not transferable to humans. This infection has been around for over forty years, and many are still not aware of the risks of their furry friend catching the flu.

There are two different syndromes of this influenza, mild (symptoms last 10-30 days and then go away) and severe (fever above 104 Fahrenheit and symptoms develop quickly). Either way, your dog should go to the veterinarians if they are coughing, sneezing, not eating, fever, red and/or runny nose and/or malaise. To diagnose canine influenza, veterinarians will want to perform a physical along with a complete blood count and clinical chemistry on the dog. X-rays may be taken of your pups lungs to characterize the type of pneumonia. The treatment for mild Canine influenza is cough suppressants and possibly antibiotics. The treatment for severe canine influenza is a very aggressive treatment with many antibiotics, fluids, and other support treatments. Hospitalization and isolation are a must for severe case.

You’re in luck; a vaccine for the canine influenza virus is currently available after talking to your veterinarian. If you suspect that your dog has the canine flu, keep him/her in isolation so no other dogs will be susceptible to it.

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