Dog flu. Dog flu. What? Yes, the virus that’s been leaving people a little under the weather has now been found in dogs. It’s not the same as the dog flu you’ve read about in the past, but two types of canine influenza viruses (CIV) have been discovered in the U.S. for the first time, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both of these are different from the CIV viruses found in dogs in Asia.
The canine influenza virus (CIV) is a highly contagious disease that affects dogs, ferrets, and other animals. It is of the same family as the human flu virus and is easily transmitted from dog to dog, and in some cases from dog to human. Although not always fatal, the virus can cause severe illness in dogs, and can lead to death. As with other influenza viruses, the canine influenza virus does not infect humans. Dogs and other animals can only become infected with the canine influenza virus.
What Causes Canine Influenza
The disease is spread from dog to dog, or dog to human, by close contact. It can also spread by dogs breathing in droplets expelled by infected dogs through coughing or sneezing. Dogs are just as susceptible to canine influenza as people are to human influenza.
The first cases of canine influenza appeared in Chicago in early 2015, and there have been outbreaks in many states since then. While the symptoms resemble those of a cold, this disease has nothing to do with a human cold and is, in fact, a virus. Although most dogs who contract the disease recover fully, younger dogs are more likely to have serious complications, and some die from the flu. At this time, there is no effective treatment for canine influenza, but vaccination can help to protect your dog from contracting it.
Canine Influenza Treatment
Any dog that appears to have an upper respiratory infection should be examined by a veterinary professional. The veterinarian will run tests to determine whether the dog has canine influenza. If the dog does have the flu, there are several treatment options to consider, including rest, fluids, antibiotics and antiviral medications, which are all available at most pet stores.