Once your dog catches the virus, you start to observe him experiencing a hacking cough. Often this cough is mistaken for kennel cough, which is usually caused by a milder infection. However, due to their mild differences, it’s hard to spot if it’s just kennel cough or influenza.

Canines with influenza are a lot sicker. They are lethargic, often with fever, and have a runny nose and eyes. Compared to kennel cough, antibiotics and rest are all a dog needs. That is why if your dog has been coughing for more than 24 hours, it’s advisable to bring them to a vet.

How the virus is spread

Canine influenza is spread through contact with an infected dog’s respiratory secretions. Just like with any other respiratory pathogens, the virus can be spread when a dog coughs. This means one infected dog can affect a whole bunch of healthy dogs with just a few sneezes.

Just like what happened at a Florida dog show, where the outbreak started. It was believed that the dogs got the virus after being accommodated in one facility designed to be the grooming room. The dogs were likely housed with proximity to each other.

Aside from the Florida dog show, which is May of last year, several states were listed as having an outbreak as well. Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas were affected and, interestingly, all were hosting a dog show. Hence, if you are planning to include your dog in many dog shows or competitions, consider having your pet vaccinated.

Is the canine influenza treatable?

Fortunately, canine influenza is treatable. In fact, most dogs only need care to help them manage the signs and symptoms. Appropriate medical care is needed for the fever as well as for ensuring adequate nutrition is given.

Because secondary bacterial infection can also occur, antibiotics may be prescribed by your vet. During recovery, dogs with the flu need to be isolated from other dogs for approximately four weeks. The influenza virus can be killed by cleaning all surfaces with 90% water solution and 10% bleach.

Dog breeds that are at high risk

There are no specific dog breeds that are at high risk. All dogs can be infected, especially those that are not vaccinated as well as dogs that have been exposed to the virus. In fact, according to studies, the risk of getting the influenza virus is low unless your dog is housed with a large number of dogs.

Will vaccination help?

Vaccination can help especially if your dog is going to participate in any event that may include a significant number of dogs. It also helps if your dog is older or if there is a need for him to be housed in a boarding kennel. If you have recently enrolled your dog in a doggy daycare or some training classes, have him vaccinated as well. For more information about vaccination, always refer to your vet. He or she will give you enough information about the vaccines that are needed by your pet.




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