What you need to know about the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), “dog flu”!
Dog Flu is a severe, highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs caused by an influenza A virus. In the U.S., canine influenza has been caused by two influenza strains. Our current vaccine protects against one of these two strains. No vaccine exists yet for the second influenza strain.
How could my pet catch this “flu”?
The “flu” is transmitted through nose-nose contact with other dogs. Interactions between pets at doggy daycares, animal hospitals, dog parks, groomers etc, are all opportunities for the infection to spread. Additionally, objects such as fabrics that have come in contact with the virus can spread the bug.
What happens if my dog gets it?
Clinical signs of “dog flu” and other respiratory infections such as “Kennel Cough” are identical though flu symptoms are more severe. Treatment for the “flu” in a healthy animal consists primarily of supportive care such as fluids and rest. However, a secondary infection can occur due to a pet’s compromised immune system requiring a broad spectrum antibiotic and more intensive hospitalized care.
Will the vaccine prevent my dog from getting sick?
The current “flu” vaccine does not prevent infection of all strands of the influenza virus however; it is proven to protect against our most common strand and it is believed to lessen viral shedding when a dog is infected. It is also know to reduce the severity of the infections and therefore the duration of the influenza viruses.
How can I protect my pup?
A strong immune system supported by a balanced diet and the current “flu” vaccine is the best way to protect your pet from the canine influenza virus (CIV)-“dog flu”