Canine Influenza

Jan 31, 2023Uncategorized0 comments

What is canine influenza?

While pets have not been proven to contract COVID-19, the dog flu is known to be a very contagious respiratory disease that has resulted in deaths in the canine population. While canine flu outbreaks have been occurring sporadically since 2015, cases have been rising in recent months, especially in shelter facilities and daycare settings. According to the CDC, this severe illness originated from the type A influenza which has split into two different strains: the H3N8 and H3N2 virus. The H3N8 equine influenza was transmitted from horses to dogs, and the H3N2 virus strain was transmitted from birds to dogs.

How is canine influenza transmitted?

Canine influenza spreads primarily through water droplets produced during coughing, sneezing, or heavy breathing. In close quarters like dogs housed in kennels or shelters, the more likely the sickness is to spread. Objects and places such as clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected if they come in contact with an infected pet. Luckily, there has been no historical record of canine influenza transmitting to humans although it is always best to play it safe!

Canine Flu Symptoms

It is possible that your pet may have contracted this respiratory illness if they show common signs of appetite loss, nasal discharge, eye discharge, and/or dry cough. Sometimes, these symptoms can lead to secondary health issues such as bacterial infections, pneumonia, or other issues in the respiratory tract. Although the mortality rate of this illness in dogs is relatively low, it’s important to contact your vet if you notice any of these signs.

Prevention and Treatment

Vaccines to protect dogs against both H3N8 and H3N2 canine flu are available in the United States. Speak with your veterinarian to schedule an appointment for your pet to receive this shot. If your dog does end up testing positive for canine influenza, keep your dog well hydrated, relaxed, and rested as its body’s immune system begins to fight the virus. Speak with a veterinarian for possible antibiotics to help them fight the virus or relieve symptoms.



October 2023

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