Canine Influenza – Know It’s Symptoms And Treatment

Did you know? Our pet friends can catch influenza virus too. Canine influenza is a highly infectious disease caused by an influenza a virus. This disease can be dangerous for your pets.

Types of Canine Influenza

Dogs infected with the canine influenza virus experience one of these syndromes:

  • Mild – Dogs suffering from mild canine influenza syndrome have a moist cough and might have nasal discharge too. The symptoms of the mild syndrome will last 10 – 30 days and usually goes away on its own.
  • Severe – Dogs suffering from severe canine influenza syndrome experience high fever. They have a high risk of pneumonia, specifically hemorrhagic pneumonia. The influenza virus affects the lungs capillaries. The dog may experience difficulty in breathing or even cough up blood if there is bleeding into the alveoli (air sacs). Moreover, bacterial pneumonia infection can further complicate their situation.

Symptoms of Canine Influenza

Just like humans, you can expect your dog to sneeze, have a runny nose, and cough. Other symptoms of canine influenza are

  • Anorexia
  • Fever
  • Malaise

Sometimes, you may not know your dog has the virus. Up to 20% of dogs with the flu don’t show any symptoms.

Treatment for Canine Influenza

The mild form is usually treated with cough suppressants. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics if your dog has a bacterial infection along with the flu.

The severe form of influenza is treated aggressively with a broad spectrum of antibiotics, fluids, and other general support treatments. Moreover, your pets need rest and more intake of fluids. Make sure your pet has a comfortable place to rest and plenty of water to drink.

Things to consider:

  • Make sure to keep your dog away from other dogs if it shows any signs of influenza.
  • If you live in an area where there has been an outbreak of dog flu, make sure that your dog gets a shot of vaccine as a precaution. The vaccine doesn’t necessarily prevent the flu, but will decrease its severity.

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