What You Need to Know About Canine Influenza Infectious Respiratory Disease
Rox Falls Vet is aware of the recent news reports and concerns about Canine Influenza Infectious Respiratory Disease in Philadelphia. We want to help our community gather their veterinary medical research from reliable sources. Below are excerpts from the Rox Falls Vet Pet Medical Library’s article on Canine Influenza (Veterinary Information Network).
“The best preventative measures are to limit or prevent exposure as lifestyle plays a factor in the risk of getting either strain of flu. Dogs that go to daycare, dog parks, performance competitions, dog shows, training classes, or boarding kennels have a higher risk. Dogs that spend most of their time at home or rarely encounter other dogs have a lower risk. People with dogs that might have influenza (or any similar respiratory disease) should keep them away from other dogs. Don’t let your dog socialize with coughing dogs.”
Visit our Pet Medical Library for the complete article on Influenza Strains in Dogs.

Here are two facts you need to know to keep your dog safe from canine influenza:

#1: Some dogs are at greater risk

If your pet is at risk for contracting kennel cough, they may also be susceptible to canine influenza infection. Dogs vaccinated against kennel cough should also be vaccinated against canine influenza since the diseases travel in similar circles. Dogs at a higher risk for exposure spend time in the following places:

  • Dog parks
  • Training classes
  • Pet stores
  • Boarding facilities
  • Daycare
  • Dog shows
  • Grooming salons
  • Shelters

Any place that has large gatherings of dogs is an excellent breeding ground and transmission source for canine influenza. The best way to protect your dog from the infectious disease to make sure they are up-to-date with their vaccinations.

#2: Canine influenza is highly contagious

Similar to the human flu virus in schools, canine influenza can rapidly spread through closely housed dogs. It can be spread in three ways—air transmission, direct contact, or fomite transmission. A cough or sneeze can shoot germs 20 feet through the air and infect a wide radius. Direct contact occurs when an infected dog touches a healthy dog, either through grooming, licking, or nuzzling. Indirect contact, or fomite transmission, is caused by contact with contaminated objects, such as bowls, bedding, leashes, or toys. People can also carry virus particles on their clothing and infect other dogs.

#3: Symptoms of canine influenza

If your dog is infected with canine influenza, you may notice the following signs:

  • Intense cough
  • Eye discharge
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Nasal discharge
  • Reduced appetite
If your pet is considered at higher risk for exposure to Influenza, contact Rox Falls Vet (267-996-8838) to schedule an appointment and discuss the vaccination. And if your pet is having signs of upper respiratory disease, including coughing and nasal discharge, please call Rox Falls Vet to have your pet evaluated.
Rox Falls Vet is here to help!