A flu season has been in full swing for many recently. One after another, co-workers and family members have “dropped,” staying at home for days fighting the virus. We may get so busy trying to avoid the flu, or fighting it ourselves, that we forget our pets have their version, too. Canine influenza is a very real possibility for your dog and it’s important to know the signs, and to be aware of how to prevent it and treat it.
The canine flu virus is called Influenza Type A (H3N8). It is a very contagious virus and there is a vaccine. Your vet will always insist that you get your dog the vaccine. However, that doesn’t mean that the virus isn’t a threat.
Dogs infected with canine flu may have a lot of symptoms similar to those in humans. Ranging from mild to severe, these symptoms may include:
- Nasal Discharge
- Eye Discharge
- Red Eyes
- Trouble Breathing
Similar to humans, these symptoms can be mild to severe. When severe, your dog could be a risk of developing pneumonia—bacterial infection in the lungs—and that could become deadly, too. You can prevent these severe results, however, if you know the signs.
If you see any of the above symptoms, take your pet straight to the vet. Your veterinarian will perform a physical and may check blood, mucus, and may take x-rays to check for signs of lung infection. If you take your pet fast, you may have no trouble getting your pet through the virus. Wait too long, however, and you could be facing a long, expensive recovery.
Because canine influenza is so contagious, he should be kept from other dogs as much as possible. If you hear of another dog having the flu and yours was in contact with that dog recently, go ahead and keep your dog away from others pets, even if he doesn’t yet show symptoms. If your pet has contracted the virus, he will probably show symptoms very soon.
It also helps to have some pet insurance when you bring your sick dog into the vet’s office. Come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us help you keep your pet in good health.