Canine Influenza (Dog Flu) – Here’s What You Should Know

Influenza vaccine and dog flu in dogs

• Have a cat? Click here to learn more about Feline Upper Respiratory Infection, or Cat Flu. 

Just like humans, dogs can catch the flu. Canine influenza, sometimes called CIV or Dog Flu, is caused by the Canine Influenza Virus, an influenza Type A virus. 

Canine influenza is highly contagious between dogs and is most often picked up in areas with a large number of pets. Think parks, pet stores, boarding kennels, groomers and doggie daycares.

No human infections with Canine Influenza have currently been reported. However,  it can be transferred from human clothing, shoes and hands onto your dog from other places so it’s important to wash your hands and avoid interacting with your pets after touching a sick pet. 

All it takes is one interaction for your pet to contract the Dog Flu. Luckily, a simple vaccination can keep your dog and community safe from an outbreak. 

What are the signs of Canine Influenza in dogs?

Symptoms can vary from dog to dog but generally include: 

  • reduced appetite
  • discharge from eyes
  • runny nose
  • Lethargy (low energy)
  • sneezing 
  • coughing

While most dogs will recover within 2-3 weeks, occasionally their symptoms may last longer and can range in severity level, resulting in serious illness like pneumonia and sometimes even death. 

How is Canine Influenza virus spread? 

The Canine Influenza virus is thought to be spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets produced from sick dogs through sneezing and coughing. It may also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces.

Pets housed in kennels and shelters are especially at risk, although almost all dogs have a chance of catching the virus.  

Is there a Canine Influenza test?

Thankfully, testing to confirm Canine Influenza viral infection in dogs is widely and readily available. Please book an appointment with your veterinarian today to find out if testing is appropriate. 

My dog has a cough. What should I do? 

Please contact your veterinarian right away to determine the appropriate course of treatment. The Dog Flu is no joke and has killed many dogs since coming on the scene. All it takes is a simple vaccination to keep your pet safe from the harmful virus. 

Click here to book a consultation to talk to a veterinarian about vaccination for Canine Influenza Virus.


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