What To Know About Canine Influenza


When your puppy is sick, you might feel the effects too. Fortunately, there are very few illnesses that can spread from animals to humans and canine influenza, or dog flu, is not one of them. It's best to know the signs of this type of flu so that you'll know how to handle it when your pooch is affected, so read on to learn more.

What is Canine Influenza?

Two different strains of dog flu have been discovered. H3N8 originally appeared in horses and then "jumped" a species to affect dogs too. Some people refer to H3N8 as canine type-A influenza. N3N2 is the second strain of dog flu and originated in birds. Canine influenza affects our furry friends in much the same manner as the human form of the illness. Vaccinations are available from your veterinarian and are recommended if your dog interacts with other dogs on a regular basis. The vaccination may not prevent the flu but will lessen the symptoms and duration.

Does Your Dog Have the Flu?

Just as when we catch the flu, your dog will show signs of a runny nose, watery eyes, lack of appetite, cough, and lack of energy. It's important to see your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has the flu. A blood test can confirm the presence of the bug and the strain. In most cases, your veterinarian will report any flu findings to the government. Be sure to call ahead and let your veterinarian know about the symptoms. They may ask you take precautions against spreading the flu to the waiting areas, such as waiting outside with Fido until your appointment time. You should also know that the symptoms of dog flu can be very mild and almost unnoticeable but the dog is still highly contagious while sick.

How is Dog Flu Treated?

Unless your dog has developed a secondary infection, no antibiotics are prescribed for cases of dog flu. Most otherwise healthy dogs recover from canine influenza in a few days and the only treatment needed is rest and extra water. Keep a watchful eye on your pup to ensure that further complications, like pneumonia, do not arise. Older dogs and those that are already sick will need more watchful care than other dogs.

Preventing Canine Influenza

This disease is spread just like the human form, from touch and from droplets in the air. If you come into contact with a dog that is infected, be sure to change your clothing and wash your hands and arms with warm soapy water before you touch your dog. Be cautious about kenneling your dog and making contact with other dogs. Dog parks are wonderful places, but they are also perfect for passing diseases like dog flu. Speak to your veterinarian to learn more.


12 November 2018

Finding Help Early

For years, I wanted to fill my home with happy animals. When I got married, my spouse wanted a pet just as much as I did, and it was great to start looking for pets together. We were able to find a rescue animal who worked well with our budget and our lifestyle, and it was neat to give that sweet animal a home. However, after we brought the pet into our home, we realized that he needed some medical care. We turned to a veterinarian for advice on his medical health, and we worked on getting him completely vaccinated. Check out this blog for more information on finding help early.