Many dog boarding facilities and day cares now are requiring dogs to be vaccinated against canine influenza. Canine influenza, or canine flu, was classified as an emerging infectious disease in 2005. The virus is an influenza virus that originated in horses and is genetically distinct from the human influenza virus. This means that a person cannot get the flu from a dog and a dog cannot get the flu from a person. The family cat also is safe from catching influenza from the dog.
Dogs that have been infected with the canine influenza virus will experience flu-like symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge and a low-grade fever. The majority of dogs will develop a mild cough that can persist for up to three weeks despite treatment. Dogs that are more severely affected will have a high-grade fever (104 degrees to 106 degrees) and develop pneumonia.
Canine influenza virus can be spread by direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs and by contact with contaminated objects such as food bowls and leashes. Dogs that spend time in areas with a high concentration of dogs in close quarters, such as animal shelters or boarding and grooming facilities, are at greater risk for being exposed to the canine influenza virus.
Does your Fido need a flu shot? Call our office and we will be happy to discuss your pets lifestyle with you and determine whether your Fido needs the flu shot too!