Many local boarding kennels are requiring that their quests be vaccinated for the canine influenza virus. Dog owners are beginning to become educated about this disease, and are getting their pets up to date. We would like to give you a little information about the flu.
Canine influenza is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a flu virus. The strain is known as H3N8 and it is highly contagious between dogs. It is spread by direct contact, sneezing or coughing, or through contaminated surfaces.
Symptoms of canine influenza include fever, persistent cough, nasal discharge, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In about 20% of dogs more serious signs may occur like high-grade fever and pneumonia, however most dogs will only get a mild form of the disease.
Diagnosing canine influenza can be difficult. It has symptoms similar to other, more common respiratory diseases such as kennel cough. We would like owners to begin suspecting the disease before symptoms become severe or last an unusually long time. Some dogs may need more aggressive therapy, but like most viruses, canine influenza should eventually run it’s course.
The best way to avoid canine influenza is to get your dog vaccinated. The first vaccine should be boostered within two to four weeks, followed by an annual revaccination. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Your veterinarian is the best person to answer your questions. You can also check out this website, http://www.doginfluenza.com/.