Canine Influenza has now been reported in over 30 states after an outbreak flared up in 2016. As media reports of dog flu continue to rise we know that pet boarding facilities, doggy daycares, pet sitters, pet salons, and dog walkers are increasingly concerned about what they need to know to help ensure the health and well-being of the pets in their care. The following information is offered to help ensure the health and well-being of the pets in their care. The following information is offered to help break through the flu fog for pet care services providers and their client pet owners.
What is Canine Influenza?
Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is caused by canine influenza virus (CIV) Type A. There are 2 known strains in the United States.
1. CIV H3N8 – first reported in greyhounds in 2003. Since then, CIV H3N8 has spread to at least 41 states. This virus in of equine origin and can be difficult to diagnose.
2. CIV H3N2 – recently found in the United States. This virus in of avian origin and spread to 30 states by April 2016. This is the dog flu most of us are hearing about today. Unlike the human flu, canine influenza is not seasonal.
Can humans’ contract canine influenza?
No. Neither virus is infectious to humans.
Is canine influenza deadly?
Thankfully, most dogs who get the virus do not die. Puppies and senior dogs are more likely to become more seriously ill once they are infected.
What are the clinical signs of canine influenza?
Most cases on canine influenza are mild. However, up to 20% of infected dogs will have moderate to severe illness. The common clinical signs of canine influenza are:
- Coughing and retching
- Nasal and/or ocular discharge
- Decreased appetite
In some cases, dogs may run a fever and demonstrate signs of depression. High fever and pneumonia may be seen in more severe cases. These clinical signs can last from a few days to several weeks depending on the severity of the disease
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