While it can’t be spread between dogs and humans, canine influenza can still be a serious threat to your furry friend’s health. The symptoms mimic kennel cough, and are often accompanied by low-grade fever, a drippy nose, listlessness, loss of appetite, and a cough that can last for up to a month. In severe cases, dogs can develop a high fever and pneumonia. If you’re curious what the flu cough sounds like, a YouTube user was kind enough to post a video:
Canine influenza virus (CIV) is highly contagious, and since it’s a relatively new virus, exposed dogs will usually be susceptible. Dogs spread their flu much as we do – through direct contact with infected pooches, or through infected surfaces. Boarding kennels, doggy daycares, groomers, and even obedience schools and dog parks can put your dog at risk. Outbreaks have been reported here in Oregon, as well as in several other states.
Fortunately, there’s a vaccine. And while it doesn’t prevent your dog from getting the flu, it can lessen the symptoms. While it’s not appropriate for all dogs, if your four-legged family member spends lots of time in close contact with other dogs, it may be worth asking your vet.