Just like their humans, dogs are susceptible to foreign contaminants, bacterial infections and viruses. And with increased travel, more viruses than ever are making their way into both human – and canine – bodies.
In addition to multiple strains of Kennel Cough, the Canine Influenza virus, or “Dog Flu,” is popping up all over the place and has been diagnosed in dogs in more than 30 states since 2003. Unfortunately, because the H3N8 Dog Flu is a relatively “new” virus, dogs haven’t yet developed the ability to build antibodies and immunity.
Symptoms of Dog Flu
Highly contagious, the H3N8 Dog Flu infects almost all dogs who are exposed, with around 80% of those dogs showing symptoms, including: “productive” coughs, low-grade fevers, nasal discharge, poor energy levels, appetite loss and more. However, some dogs show no signs of dog flu infection and still transmit the virus to other animals.
The most common ways your dog can contract the Dog Flu are through direct contact – sharing water, food and sleep sources with infected dogs – and through the air. YES, the Dog Flu is airborne and is easily transmitted through the air AND onto contaminated surfaces via human counterparts. However, it’s important to understand that while the Dog Flu doesn’t harm humans, humans can pass the Dog Flu to other dogs.
Treatments for Dog Flu
Unfortunately, like all viruses, the Dog Flu virus must run its course; however, good hydration, healthy food choices and rest will help your pooch to fight off the virus. To help combat the severity of the H3N8 Dog Flu, we recommend you vaccinate your dog for Dog Flu. The vaccination, given in two doses 2-4 weeks apart, has been proven to help reduce the length and severity of Dog Flu should your pooch contract it.
Have you had your dog vaccinated against Dog Flu? Please leave us a comment if you’ve had success or have any follow-up questions!
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