Currently, canine flu, also known as canine influenza or dog flu, is spreading rapidly in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It is a contagious flu caused by two specific types of influenza viruses. It can cause respiratory issues and make your pup feel uncomfortable and sick.
If you are a dog parent, it is critical to know everything about this flu, its symptoms, and preventive measures to protect your four-pawed companion.
This blog will walk you through the common symptoms, dangers, and treatments for canine flu so you can be prepared for it. Read on!
What Exactly is Canine Flu?
Canine Flu is an airborne disease caused by two different kinds of dog flu viruses, including:
● H3N8 Virus
● H3N2 Virus
Both of these strains are similar to the viral strains that cause influenza in humans. The disease spreads through respiratory secretions dogs leave in the environment through barking, coughing, or sneezing. These secretions contain the canine flu-causing virus, and when other dogs come in contact with it, they get infected too.
Common Symptoms and Dangers of Canine Flu
In order to protect your dog or seek prompt treatment for them, understanding the canine flu symptoms is a must. With that said, here are some common symptoms of canine flu:
● Coughing and sneezing
● Runny nose
● Reduced appetite
● Eye discharge
Generally, most dogs suffering from canine flu have mild symptoms and can recover in two to three weeks. However, in some rare cases, the disease can take a severe form. In such cases, your dog may develop pneumonia, high fever, and difficulty breathing.
When it comes to canine flu, it is guaranteed that almost all the dogs exposed to the virus will get the disease. However, not all of them will show symptoms.
It is estimated that almost 20% to 25% of dogs infected with the virus remain asymptomatic as long as the infection lasts. While such dogs show no symptoms of the disease, they can still spread the infection.
Thus, taking great care and using all the preventive measures to protect your dog is essential. Here are some tips for the same:
● Until the disease is under control in your region, avoid taking your dog to public places like dog parks.
● Avoid boarding your pup with other pups.
● If you think you may have come in contact with an infected dog, wash your hands, arms, and feet and change your clothing before going near your dog.
● Consult your dog’s veterinarian to see if your dog can receive vaccines for H3N8 and H3N2 viruses.
Effective Treatment Options
Sometimes, even after following all the preventive measures, your dog can still get infected with the canine influenza virus. In such a situation, it is important not to panic and seek immediate treatment for your dog.
If you suspect that your pup is suffering from canine influenza to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Treatment options include medication, including several antibiotics for dealing with the secondary bacterial infection and keeping your dog well-hydrated and comfortable. You can also ask your vet for an appropriate nutritional plan to keep your dog well-fed and nourished as it recovers from the disease.
Knowing about the symptoms and treatment options of canine flu is the first step in dealing with this infection. As the disease continues to spread in Fort Worth, it is critical to keep your dog indoors as much as possible. Avoiding public outings is the best way to protect your dog from the H3N8 and H3N2 viruses.