Until recently, it was thought that dogs didn’t get the flu, but now researchers have learned that this is not the case.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dog Flu?
Diagnosing dog flu can be difficult since many of the symptoms are the same as common respiratory diseases. A test is needed in order to confirm diagnosis. The following are symptoms of dog flu:
- Low fever
- Persistent cough
- Run1ny nose
Can Dogs Catch The Flu From Humans And Vice Versa?
Although people and dogs can both catch influenza viruses, they are susceptible to different strains of the virus. What this means is that you don’t need to worry about catching the flu from your dog. Researchers continue to keep an eye on this, but so far there has not been any evidence proving that humans can contract the virus from their pets. There has been some evidence that dogs might be able to catch the flu from people but there is still not enough data on the subject to either confirm or deny anything.
What Happens If A Dog Has The Flu?
The influenza virus in dogs is not highly contagious, so pet owners shouldn’t panic. However there is the possibility of dog flu leading to secondary infections that could develop into life threatening pneumonia. The good news is that with proper veterinarian care, your dog is most likely to make a full recovery. Experts have estimated that the fatality rate in dog influenza is only between 1-5%.
Most dogs that die from the flu have not been previously exposed to the virus and had no immunity. Therefore, nearly 100% of dogs exposed to the flu catch it, and 80% will show symptoms within 4 days.
Your dog is more likely to catch the flu if he or she has been to a boarding kennel, shelter, doggy daycare, dog park, or something along those lines. People who attend dog shows should also be on the look out for the virus.
How Is The Flu Treated In Dogs?
Treatment for the flu in dogs is very similar to that for humans. Since antibiotics do not work on the virus, the usual advice most veterinarians give pet owners is plenty of rest and fluids. However sometimes antibiotics may still be prescribed for secondary infections.
Is There A Flu Vaccine For Dogs?
A dog flu vaccine was approved in 2009 and is now available at most veterinary offices. Pet owners should know that the vaccine will not prevent a dog from getting the influenza virus, however it will lessen the severity and the duration of the virus. Whether or not you should vaccine your canine is entirely up to you. The vaccine consists of two shots and is given three weeks apart. These vaccines contain the killed virus and help build a dog’s immunity to the virus. So far there have not been any reported adverse reactions to the virus in dogs.