It’s a three letter “f” word, flu – and whether your human or a canine your day can go downhill pretty fast if you get it. Our flu is spread by coming in contact with other humans also infected with the virus. Dogs, well they’re no different. Canine Influenza Virus, also known as CIV, is spread in much the same way as the human version and is very contagious.
In 2004 CIV was found to be real and since then there have been numerous reports of dogs coming down with it. Especially dogs who spend a lot of time in public spaces: dog parks, kennels, ect. But there are some treatment options.
If your pup is showing the following signs contact your vet and get them in as soon as possible. While CIV is treatable in very rare cases it can be deadly for your dog, just like our version of the flu is to us if gone unnoticed.
Symptoms: loss of appetite, cloudy or green discharge from the nose or eyes, lethargy, unusually persistent cough, fever.
Treatment: this varies depending on the dog’s age and how severe its flu is. The range goes from getting plenty of rest to antibiotics to potentially being hospitalized. But you should always contact your vet and immediately tell your pet sitters if you suspect your dog has the flu.
Prevention: the vaccine is not foolproof, like many vaccines. But pups with the vaccine seem to get milder cases of the virus.
For more information about Canine Influenza Virus and how to keep your pet healthy check out this article from PetMD.
+ Colin Carlton,