Canine influenza is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the health of dogs and cats.
Influenza viruses can quickly change and develop into new strains that can infect different pets.
Canine influenza can infect dogs and be transmitted from dog to dog.
Your pet may need a vaccination to prevent being infected with the virus. Getting a vaccination may also prevent your pet from spreading the virus to other animals. To schedule a vaccination, contact Normandale Veterinary hospital. We can treat your pet and reduce the chances that they will suffer from the Canine influenza strain.
How is the Canine Influenza Transmitted?
Canine influenza is transmitted through coughing, barking, and sneezing. Dogs in close contact with infected dogs in places such as kennels, groomers, day care facilities, and shelters are at increased risk of infection.
Canine influenza can be spread indirectly through kennels, food, and water bowls, collars and leashes. Dog owners or other people can also spread the virus if they come in contact with infected dogs.
How to Prevent the Canine Influenza From Spreading
There are ways to prevent — or at least minimize — the spread of the Canine Influenza. Some of the ways you can isolate the virus include:
● Clean and disinfect objects that have been in contact with infected dogs
● Avoid exposing your dog to infected dogs.
● Isolate your dog so that it doesn’t spread the virus.
● Try not to come into contact with a dog that has the flu.
● Wash your hands and clean your clothing if you come into contact with an infected animal.
To prevent transmission of the virus, dogs infected with Canine Influenza, as well as other dogs in the household, should be isolated for four weeks.
How Long Can the Canine Influenza Last?
The virus can remain viable on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours. The virus also has an incubation period of one to five days. The virus can appear two to three days after exposure. You should continue disinfecting your home as needed for the duration of your pet’s infections.
Dogs are most contagious during the virus incubation period and share the virus even if they are not showing symptoms of the illness. Some dogs may show no signs of illness but are still infected. The infection can prolong the incubation period.
Symptoms of the Virus in Dogs
Dogs or cats that are infected with the Canine Influenza may exhibit the following symptoms:
● Variable fever
● Clear nasal discharge
● Difficult breathing
● Loss of appetite
The majority of infected dogs exhibit the mild form of canine influenza. The most common clinical sign is a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days despite treatment with antibiotics and cough suppressants.
Affected dogs may have a soft, moist cough or a dry cough. Many dogs develop a nasal discharge and fever. The nasal discharge is usually caused by secondary bacterial infections. Some dogs may develop pneumonia. Although most dogs recover without incident, death can occur if the virus is not treated by a veterinarian.
Canine influenza cannot be diagnosed by symptoms alone, because these symptoms can occur in other illness or health conditions. Veterinary tests are available to diagnose and identify strains of the canine influenza virus.
If our veterinarians detect the Canine Influenza infection, we can prescribe treatment that should cure your pet of the virus. We may also schedule a follow-up to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated from your pet’s system.
Treatment for the Canine Influenza
Veterinary expertise is required to determine treatment options for your pet. You can also play a vital role in our dog’s recovery, by providing a clean environment, plenty of hydration, and a healthy diet. With the right treatment and a healthy lifestyle, your dog should recover from the Canine Influenza within two to three weeks.
If the initial wave of treatments does not cure your pet, we’ll need to explore options including modifying the treatment. In most cases, your dog will recover from influenza as expected.
Canine Influenza Prevention
You can kill the influenza virus by washing your hands, keeping the home disinfected. Pet owners should take special care to wash their hands after engaging in the following:
● Before and after handling each dog
● After coming into contact with dogs' saliva, urine, feces, or blood
● After cleaning a dog’s cage or giving the dog a bath
● Before eating meals or leaving the house
● Before and after using the restroom
Normandale veterinarians can also administer a Canine Influenza vaccination for dogs. The vaccine provides protection against all influenza strains. Vaccination can reduce the risk of a dog contracting canine influenza.
The vaccine is intended to protect dogs at risk for exposure to the canine influenza virus, which includes those that participate in outside activities with many other dogs or cohabitate with other dogs.
Veterinary Care Specialists in Minneapolis
If you are interested in getting a vaccine for your dog, contact Normandale Veterinary Clinic. We can administer a vaccination to reduce the risk of Canine Influenza.
To schedule a vaccine, call us today at 952-831-8272.