It’s flu season and you may not have known that dogs can get the flu too! Canine influenza, or dog flu, first appeared in Florida in 2003 according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. While it cannot be passed from dog to human, there is a small chance for the virus to mutate so the CDC continues to monitor it.
The death rate for canine influenza is very low, but some dogs can develop secondary pneumonia which can be life-threatening. Here’s what else you should know:
Canine influenza is a contagious (among dogs) respiratory disease caused by a virus.
Just like a child going to school and picking up a cold, your dog can catch the flu from other dogs at places like daycare or the dog park.
Symptoms include runny nose, cough, fever, and sometimes more severe symptoms.
It usually lasts about 7 to 10 days.
If your dog makes frequent visits to public places, you might want to consider the canine influenza vaccine. Ask your veterinarian.
If your dog comes down with the flu, you may want to take him/her to the vet. Treatment is similar to that of the human flu, including rest and keeping hydrated.
Has your dog ever had the flu? Do you have any tips to share?