Canine Influenza – What You Need to Know
Can Your Dog Get the Flu?
Can your dog get the flu? A dog can get the Canine Influenza with symptoms similar to that people have when they get the flu.
Symptoms associated with the Canine Influenza include: a nasal discharge, a discharge from the dog's eyes, coughing, fever, vomiting, sneezing and trouble breathing.
Experts agree that some similar symptoms can be caused by allergies instead. If that is the case, the treatment can be as simple as keeping the dog away from whatever he is allergic to. It is also possible to mistake a cough a dog can get in a kennel, known as a Kennel Cough, with the flu. Kennel Flu is a form of bacteria; dog flu is a form of virus. The cough with dog flu is moist, while the cough caused by the Kennel Flu is dry and persistent. The cough with Kennel Flu can last for 10-21 days, and can include a low fever and nasal discharge.
The experts agree there are things you can do to lessen the chance of your dog catching the Canine Influenza, including avoiding kennels, keeping your dog away from strays at all costs, and avoiding grooming shops and other high contact with other dogs. If you think your dog may have Canine Influenza, you should take him to the vet immediately. Treatment can consist of antibiotics and IV fluids.
Some five percent of dogs will catch an acute form of Canine Influenza from a dog kennel. Many will not have symptoms but will carry the disease for up to a week. Almost every dog in contact with a carrier will be affected to some extent. The disease is in the air, and a dog will not need direct contact to catch the flu.
Contact your vet with questions about the Canine Influenza.