Canine Influenza: What Pet Owners Need to Know
Can Dogs Get the Flu? Our Vet in Richmond Explains
Yes! The dog flu, also known as canine influenza, is a highly contagious and potentially serious disease. While it can't be transmitted from dogs to humans, it can easily spread between unprotected dogs. Dr. Paul Fidelis, a leading vet in Richmond, wants all local dog owners to be aware of the canine flu and how to protect your dog against it.
3 Things to Know About Canine Influenza
1. Common Symptoms
Dog flu typically presents with a persistent cough, frequent sneezing, runny nose, loss of appetite, and loss of energy. A low-grade fever may also be present. If left untreated, the dog flu may lead to complications including high fever, respiratory distress, and pneumonia.
2. How It's Treated
There are currently 2 strains of canine influenza (both strains have been reported in Texas). These strains are called H3N8 and H3N2. H3N8 is a relatively new strain to which most dogs have not built up a natural immunity, which partially explains why the disease can become so serious. Dogs who are older or who have compromised immune systems are also more at risk for experiencing serious complications due to the dog flu.
Treatment depends on the severity of the illness. Most dogs require some form of medication (including medicine to relieve respiratory symptoms and antibiotics to prevent subsequent bacterial infections like pneumonia) and possibly IV fluids.
3. How It's Prevented
It's not possible to completely eliminate your dog's chances of coming in contact with the canine influenza virus if there's a current outbreak going around in your community. Just think of where your dog may go in any given week: from the pet store to the groomer's to the dog park or even out for a walk down the street. Dogs are everywhere--so the number one thing you can do to prevent your animal from falling ill is to get it vaccinated against the dog flu. Our Richmond vet team can walk you through the vaccination process to make sure your dog gets the protection it needs.
If your dog has had any sort of respiratory infection, you can do your part to protect other dogs by keeping your pet at home for at least 2 weeks or until your vet advises you otherwise. Clean and wash your pet's toys, food and water bowls, and bedding regularly to help minimize germs, and be sure to give your pet healthy food and plenty of fresh water.
Protect Your Dog Against Preventable Illnesses: Meet With Our Veterinarian in Richmond TX Today!
Would you like to meet with a veterinarian in Richmond TX to discuss the canine flu? Call Kindred Pet Care Hospital at 281-265-0009 to schedule an initial consultation, or to learn more about our other pet vaccinations and veterinary services. Kindred is a leading animal hospital in Richmond, TX, and our entire staff is committed to helping every animal that walks through our door experience optimal health, longevity, and happiness. So, contact us today!