You might be surprised to know that dog flu is one of the most common diseases in dogs that spreads quite quickly. Keep reading to learn more about dog flu…
What is Dog Flu or Canine influenza?
Dog Flu is medically termed as canine influenza which is a respiratory disease caused by an Influenza A virus. This disease is highly contagious and spread from an infected dog to other dogs by barking, direct contact, sneezing etc. It can be fatal for dogs as well.
Types of Canine influenza
- Mild – A mild dog flu can be noticed in dogs as they will show signs of moist cough and nasal discharge. This type of flu usually lasts 10 – 30 days and goes away on its own.
- Severe- A severe dog flu can be fatal for dogs. Canines suffering from severe type of canine influenza will usually have high temperature. They are at a higher risk of contracting pneumonia, especially hemorrhagic pneumonia. The influenza A virus affects the lungs of the dogs causing in breathing difficulties. Dogs might cough up blood along with severe respiratory distress.
Symptoms to look out for
Similar to humans, dogs also sneeze, have a runny nose and cough. But it doesn’t mean that they are suffering from canine influenza. Here are some symptoms that you need to check for:
- Coughing and sneezing.
- High and variable fever.
- Thick yellowish-green mucus discharge from nose.
- Breathing difficulty.
- Loss of appetite.
As around 20% of the dogs infected with this virus won’t show any symptoms, it is harder to diagnose.
The mild type of dog flu can be treated with cough suppressants. Your vet may prescribe anti-viral medication along with anti-bacterial medication to fight off any secondary infection alongside influenza.
The severe type of influenza is usually treated by a vet with a wide range of anti-viral medications, intravenous fluids and other general treatment. The dog requires plenty of rest along with nutritious supplements to boost its immunity.
- If your dog shows any sign of influenza, then make sure to keep him away from other dogs.
- 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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