Things You Should Know about Canine Flu
You may have heard about the growing flu epidemic across the country. Cases are on the rise, as is the severity of many flu cases. Amid all these concerns about the flu, some dog owners are left wondering if their beloved pets are susceptible. Here's what you should know about the canine flu, the symptoms, treatment options, and how serious animal hospitals in St. Johns says it may be.
What Is the Canine Flu?
There are actually three strains of canine flu, but the most common of them is H3N2. Before you start worrying about spreading your illness to your dog or vice versa, it's important to note that the canine flu is a completely different illness than the flu that we catch. The CDC has stated that there is no evidence of the canine flu virus being transmitted from dogs to people and no reported cases of human infection with the flu being transmitted to canines. This is a separate illness exclusive to our canine friends and is simply called the flu because of its similar symptoms—not because it's the same sickness.
However, the canine flu is extremely contagious between dogs and can spread very easily. So, if you notice the symptoms of canine flu in your dog, make sure that you keep your dog away from any other canines until they're completely healthy again. This means avoiding kennels or doggy day cares, dog parks, or even playdates with your friend's pup.
What Are the Symptoms?
As we just mentioned, the canine flu has very similar symptoms to the flu that we contract. These include:
- Decreased appetite
- Lack of energy
- Nasal discharge
In some cases, the fluid built up in your dog's lungs from the flu can result in pneumonia and difficulty breathing. However, generally speaking, the canine flu isn't very serious or life-threatening.
What Are the Treatment Options?
As with the human flu, treatment options for canine flu are somewhat limited. There is no cure for it, so your best option is to provide your pup with the supportive care necessary to ensure their body can fight off the illness. This includes plenty of rest and fluids, as well as anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by your vet to help reduce your dog's fever—and, of course, plenty of snuggles with you.
Preventing the Flu
The methods for preventing canine flu are much the same as preventing the spread of the human flu: avoid any dogs that have flu symptoms and, most importantly, get your dog vaccinated. While not a core vaccine, there is a vaccine for the H3N2 canine influenza virus. Be sure to talk to your vet about having your dog vaccinated against this sickness.
If you've noticed symptoms of the canine flu in your dog, please call Forever Vets Animal Hospital, an animal hospital in St. Johns at 904-287-5625 at any time of the day or night. We'll let you know what can be done to make your dog more comfortable until they're feeling well again.
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