Protecting your Pet from Canine Influenza
Posted June 15, 2017
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
Sciences (CVM), veterinarians are working to educate pet parents
about the recent outbreak of canine influenza in Georgia and
Florida that could affect dogs in Texas.
Just like humans, pets can be affected by strains of influenza
and experience flu-like symptoms. The strains of influenza that
affect dogs are highly contagious and spread through particles in
the air. However, the disease is typically not life-threatening
when treated and is not transmissible to humans.
“The most common symptoms of canine flu include coughing and
lethargy, as well as decreased appetite and fever,” said Dr. Stacy
Eckman, clinical assistant professor at the CVM. “In some cases,
the infection can progress to pneumonia, especially when the flu is
complicated by other respiratory bacteria or viruses.”
The canine flu should be treated as soon as possible. If you are
worried your pet is experiencing symptoms of the canine flu,
contact your veterinarian before going in to their office. This
allows the veterinarian to prepare for the visit and potentially
decrease exposure to other pets.
If you live in an area where the canine flu has been reported,
consider keeping your dog away from other dogs by staying clear of
the dog park or kenneling your dog.
Canine influenza is a relatively new virus in dogs, but there
are vaccines available to help protect your pet. The vaccine does
not prevent your pet from getting infected or spreading the virus,
but it may reduce your pet’s symptoms.
“The vaccine is recommended for pets that go to
dog shows, including hunting and agility; are kenneled or boarded;
visit grooming salons or doggie day cares regularly; or are around
a high number of dogs that visit these areas,” Eckman said.
If your pet becomes infected with the canine flu, a veterinarian
can provide supportive care and medications to make the pet feel
better. In the meantime, consider your options for preventing your
pet from facing this illness again in the future, such as with a
As a pet parent, it is important to provide your dog with
excellent healthcare. Talk with your veterinarian about reducing
the chances of your dog being impacted by canine influenza.
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