Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again. . . . time for Canine Influenza (dog flu) – and it’s highly contagious. Learn more about this illness to protect for four-legged family member this season:
Who’s at risk?
Dogs of any breed, age, sex or health status are at risk of infection when exposed to CIV, and infection can occur year round. Almost all dogs exposed to CIV will become infected, and the majority (80%) of infected dogs develop flu-like illness. It is not contagious to people.
Supportive care should be provided to keep the dog as comfortable as possible. Medications may be necessary for severe illness or secondary bacterial infections. Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks.
How is it spread?
CIV is easily spread from infected dogs to other dogs through direct contact, coughing and sneezing, contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leases), and people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.
Signs of illness:
The illness ranges from mild to severe. Infected dogs develop a persistent cough and may develop a nasal and/or eye discharge, lethargy, reduced appetite, and fever. Secondary bacterial infections can develop, and may cause more severe illness and pneumonia.
How to protect your dog:
Call the hospital. We will do our best to determine whether or not a vaccine is needed or advised for your pet.
- “LIKE US” on Facebook. Facebook is the fastest way for us to communicate immediate local health concerns to you and provide critical health care management plans.
- Avoid exposing your dog to obviously sick dogs.
- If there is a CIV outbreak in your area, avoid taking your dog to areas where dogs gather.
- If your dog shows signs of illness, isolate them from other dogs and seek veterinary care.
- Wash your hands after handling any dog, and especially after handling a sick dog.
- Be wise. Keep your dogs away from high risk exposure locations; PetSmart, daycare, training, boarding.
- If you board at a different location, be sure to call and check the building’s current health status. (Do they have any confirmed cases of flu?)
- Do not share equipment (bowls, collars, leashes, kennels, etc.) between sick dogs and apparently healthy dogs.