Saturday, December 3, 2011

Flu Fever

The holiday season has brought with it an influx of patients getting the Canine Influenza vaccine. Now that most boarding kennels are requiring it, dog owners are rushing to get their pets up to date, but many don't know much about the disease.

Canine influenza is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a flu virus. The strain is known as H3N8 and it is highly contagious between dogs. It is spread the same way as the human flu; direct contact, sneezing or coughing, or through contaminated surfaces. Symptoms of canine influenza include persist ant cough, low-grade fever, nasal discharge, lack of energy, and loss of appetite. In about 20% of dogs more serious signs may occur like high-grade fever and pneumonia, however most dogs will only get a mild form of the disease.

Diagnosing canine influenza can be difficult because it has similar symptoms of other diseases such as kennel cough. Owners don't usually suspect the disease until the symptoms become severe or last an unusually long time. Like most viruses, canine influenza should eventually run it's course. Some dogs may need the help of intravenous fluids to keep them hydrated or may develop secondary infections and need antibiotics. Whatever you do, do not use human medications in your dog unless directed by your veterinarian.

The best way to avoid canine influenza is to get your dog vaccinated. The first vaccine should be boostered within three to four weeks, followed by an annual revaccination. If you have any further questions, your veterinarian is the best person to answer them, however you can also check out this website, Thanks for reading!