|(retired)min- ister misty|
be calm, dont- worry!
|Barked: Wed Aug 3, '11 5:16am PST |
|Canine influenza or dog flu is caused by the influenza virus A, which is known as H3N8.
It is an airborne virus and hence, usually gets transmitted by coughing or sneezing.
This highly contagious dog flu virus can also spread through direct contact with the nasal secretions of the affected dog.
So, a healthy dog can easily contact the influenza virus.
Almost all dogs exposed to this virus get infected, as they do not have a natural immunity to the virus, due to the lack of previous exposure.
Influenza is generally not a very serious dog health problem.
Dogs infected with the canine influenza virus usually recover within a short time.
However, the affected canine can experience several dog flu symptoms, until it recovers completely.
Dogs Flu Symptoms
The symptoms of dog flu have been observed to mimic the symptoms of one of the very common dog illnesses, known as kennel cough.
Therefore, dogs flu symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for kennel cough.
However, cough caused by influenza lasts longer than the typical kennel cough, and can be accompanied by several other symptoms.
Usually, the symptoms of dog flu appear within 2 to 5 days from the initial exposure to the virus.
Sometimes, an infected dog may not exhibit any sign of infection, but remains contagious and so, can spread the virus for several days or weeks.
Many times, secondary bacterial infection can also develop, which can cause pneumonia.
But, usually the symptoms of dog flu are mild.
The most commonly observed symptoms of canine influenza are:
Yellow or green colored nasal discharge
Loss of appetite
Rapid and shallow breathing
Secondary bacterial infection or pneumonia
Treatment for Dog Flu
Canine influenza is not a serious condition, and most of the dogs infected by the influenza virus recover within a few weeks.
However, the condition can become serious for puppies, frail or aging dogs, and canines with a weak immune system.
Such dogs are more likely to get secondary bacterial infections, and the associated complications.
Usually, veterinarians use antibiotics to treat a dog with influenza, in order to prevent secondary bacterial infection.
If canine influenza is not very serious, and accompanied by mild cough and other flu symptoms, then it can be easily managed.
Cough suppressants are generally recommended to control the cough associated with dog flu.
Dogs usually get low grade fever, in case of a minor infection.
But, if they develop high fever, then it can be an indicator of secondary opportunistic infection.
In such a situation immediate hospitalization can be required.
Dogs with high fever can also require intravenous administration of fluid and antibiotics.
Recently, a vaccine has been developed to prevent canine influenza.
In June 2009, the first dog flu vaccine was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Animal and Plants Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
The mortality rate for dog flu is very low, around 5%. The most adversely affected dog breed is the Greyhound dog.
In order to prevent the spread of this contagious disease, the pet owners need to be a bit vigilant.
They should be more careful with young puppies, as they are more likely to get infected with the complications associated with canine influenza.
They should keep an eye on their dogs, and take every possible measure to keep them away from any dog with cough, and canines with other dogs flu symptoms.
While traveling, you can keep your dog in a boarding kennel, provided it is a reputed one.
Know more about dog kennel.
Similarly, it is also important to keep your dog away from other dogs, if it shows any sign of influenza.
If you observe any of the dogs flu symptoms, then be sure to immediately inform a veterinarian.
In such a situation, do not take your dog to any place such as, boarding kennel or doggie day care, where it would be around other dogs.
This will help to prevent the transmission of the diseases.
Lastly, along with proper treatment, it is also essential to give your dog healthy dog foods, to ensure faster recovery.
|my page | msg me | gift me | become pals|