Canine Flu: What to know

You may have heard about the alarming surge in people contracting the flu in California, but did you know that Canine Influenza is on the rise as well? In California alone there have been 6 dogs confirmed positive with the canine flu since mid December 2017 (TIME). But what is it? What are the symptoms? And what can you do to prevent and treat it?


Canine Influenza is fairly new to the United States. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the first case was reported in Chicago in 2015. Since then, this virus has spread and has been cited as infecting a group of shelter cats in Indiana. At this time, there is no evidence that this virus can be transmitted to humans, and the group of shelter cats are the only known species to have become infected besides dogs.


Over 80% of dogs exposed to the canine virus are infected (AVMA). The signs that your dog (or cat) may have the canine flu can closely resemble "kennel cough" or, more technically, canine infectious tracheobronchitis.  If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it is imperative you take your animal to their vet promptly. Your vet will do a series of tests to confirm if your dog is infected with the Canine Flu so to treat them properly.


Symptoms my include:


·      A continuous cough that persists even after the treatment of antibiotics


·      Nasal discharge


·      Lack of appetite


·      Sneezing


·      Fever of 104-105 degrees


·      Some dogs may exhibit more severe symptoms such as a higher fever up to 106 and an   increased respiratory rate.



As long as you recognize these signs and take your dog to the vet, there is great success of recovery with treatments of antimicrobials, fluids, and anti-inflammatory medications. Antimicrobials are used to slow the spread of the microorganisms that carry the virus. It is important to know that if your dog does become infected they will have to be quarantined for up to 4 weeks, because the virus is extremely contagious. However, if left untreated, the results can be fatal to your pet. 


Being as informed as possible when being a pet parent helps us to provide the best care for our canine children. If you notice these symptoms, some things you can do to immediately alleviate your pet's discomfort are to continue a good nutrition and to give them supplements such as Phosphorus 30C to boost their immunity. Also making sure that their bed is in a quiet and warm place of your home. (Pets WebMD)  But remember, your vet is your best source for diagnosis and treatment. 


I hope this helps you understand what to look for and how to treat and care for your pets if they become ill. 


Let me know what you thought of this blog post in the comments below!

Edited by Tara Rico