Symptoms of Canine Influenza
May 26, 2022
Have you noticed anything strange about your dog? Being sick is no fun, everyone knows that. Like humans, our pups can come down with influenza. We’re going to talk about what to look out for when it comes to canine influenza and what you can do for your dog.
What is Canine Influenza?
Canine influenza is what it sounds like—the flu but in dogs. It is a highly contagious respiratory virus that spreads among dogs. It is caused by Type A flu viruses that affect dogs. Fortunately, there have never been any reported humans to come down with canine influenza.
There are two key strains of canine influenza. The first is called canine influenza H3N8 which started as equine influenza. So, this virus spread from horses to dogs. Before that, scientists found the virus in horses for at least 40 years, according to the CDC. The second strain is called H3N2 influenza, and that originated in birds and passed to dogs. There have been cases of cats passing H3N2 influenza to dogs as well.
What are the Symptoms of Canine Influenza?
The symptoms of canine influenza are very similar to the symptoms of human influenza. Here is a list of what to look out for:
- Runny nose
- Discharge from the eyes
- Lack of appetite
- General malaise
Many dogs recover from canine influenza within two to three weeks, but some may come down with other infections that can cause pneumonia. When you’re trying to figure out if your dog may be infected, please keep in mind that not all dogs will show signs of illness. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian to remove any guesswork.
How Does Canine Influenza Spread?
The majority of dogs infected with canine influenza live in kennels or dog shelters. The proximity and overcrowding of these places create the perfect environment for infection. The respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing are the main mode of transmission. Canine influenza also spreads onto surfaces where the virus can survive for infection.
Is There Treatment Available?
While there isn’t a cure-all for canine influenza, there are things you can do to help your dog. If your pup comes down with this virus, you should take them to a veterinarian so they can be treated. Treatment involves providing sufficient fluids to keep them hydrated and antibiotics if a bacterial infection develops. Additionally, there are medications that a veterinarian can administer to make your best friend as comfortable as possible.