- The canine influenza (dog flu) is a contagious respiratory disease caused by specific Type A influenza viruses known to infect dogs.
- The most common symptoms of canine influenza are cough, runny nose, lethargy, fever, eye discharge, difficulty breathing, and a reduced appetite.
- Any dog can contract canine influenza, but it’s more common in areas like kennels and shelters.
- Treatment for the dog flu is mostly supportive care. Keep them comfortable and well hydrated while their immune system works to fight off the virus.
We’re all familiar with the oh-so-dreaded flu season. Coughing, upset stomach, runny noses, and sneezing are just some of the miserable things we can expect during this time. That’s why so many medical professionals recommend people get the flu shot before flu season sets in. What people likely aren’t familiar with is the canine influenza, also known as the dog flu. That’s right! Our four-legged furry friends can also catch the flu.
Just like the human flu, canine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that affects our dogs. Thankfully, it’s often not severe and most dogs will fully recover. But it’s still an unpleasant experience and there are a small percentage of animals that succumb to their illness. To keep our pets safe and healthy, learn more about the canine influenza virus, including the symptoms, causes, and treatment options…
What is Canine Influenza (Dog Flu)?
Just like the name states, the canine influenza is essentially the flu, but for dogs. It’s a contagious respiratory disease that is caused by specific Type A influenza viruses known to infect dogs, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These viruses are known as the “canine influenza viruses.”
There are two different influenza A dog flu viruses. “…one is a H3N8 virus and the other is an H3N2 virus. Canine influenza A (H3N2) viruses are different from seasonal influenza A (H3N2) viruses that spread annually in people,” explains the source.