James R. Speiser, DVM, DABVP, CCRT
August 24, 2017
Dog flu cases have been popping up around Indiana recently, it's a highly contagious virus and unfortunately, not that uncommon. We love our pets and want to do our best to protect and take proper care of them, so that means learning how to recognize when there's something wrong. Below are some suggestions on recognizing flu symptoms in your dog and what to do if you think they may be sick.
Canine influenza is a respiratory disease, unlike our flu symptoms, your dog will likely have a cough. It could be dry or somewhat moist, and may last for 1 to 3 weeks. Your dog may also have weepy eyes an or a runny nose.
If left untreated, canine influenza can develop into bronchitis, or secondary pneumonia, which can be far more serious. In those cases, your pet will have a fairly high fever of 105 or 106. Unfortunately, Canine flu is highly contagious and most dogs that come into contact with it will harbor the virus. While only 80% will display symptoms, they can all pass the virus to other dogs they come into contact with.
Canine flu can be especially serious in very young or very old dogs or animals that have other respiratory diseases, so if your dog is in one of those categories, please pay special attention and take them to your vet right away if you suspect that they may have canine influenza.
Most dogs with the flu have fairly mild symptoms, as described above, but if you suspect your pet may have canine influenza, you should take them to your veterinarian to be sure it's not something more serious. If it is indeed canine influenza, your vet will most likely prescribe an antitussive (cough suppressant) and possibly antibiotics to help your dog get well. Other than that, the care for your pet is similar to caring for yourself: lots of rest!