Canine Influenza Fast Facts
Influenza is a common viral disease among horses that affects the respiratory system and has now made its way into the canine world, resulting to canine influenza. It is a very contagious and easily transmitted disease that can travel fast from one dog to another. In some severe cases, canine influenza, also known as canine flu, can be fatal. Canine flu has just been recently identified, with its first occurrence just in 2004, but its occurences are already quite a lot considering its recent history. This is because dogs can easily get canine flu from their kennels, especially because transmission is airborne. Since the disease is fairly recent, dogs have not yet built immunity against dog flu. Thus, any dog can be a victim of canine influenza.
The Forms and Symptoms of Canine Influenza
Dog flu can be categorized into two different forms. They can either be mild or severe. The mild form of canine influenza begins with dry cough and nasal discharge. On the other hand, the severe form is accompanied by high fever or pneumonia. Severe form of canine flu can lead to eventual death that can primarily be triggered by the pneumonia. However, death due to canine flu is not very common. Fortunately, the frequency of mild form dog flu is higher than that of the severe form. If your dog, however, starts coughing, you may want to take it to the veterinarian just to be certain that it is not caused by dog flu. Take note that the cough that accompanies canine flu is very similar to kennel cough, so you might mistake a canine flu cough for a kennel cough. It pays to be sure, so a visit to the veterinarian will be the best move.
Treatment and Prevention of Canine Influenza
Since canine flu is caused by viruses, it was not hard to come up with a treatment for dog flu sufferers. The main concern was to strengthen the dog's immunity against the virus. If the mild form of dog flu is characterized by a greenish nasal discharge, an antimicrobial treatment can easily cure the dog. The severe form of canine influenza, on the other hand, can be treated using an antimicrobial as well as treatment of the pneumonia through hydration. Still, the best way is to prevent canine influenza from affecting your dog in the first place. There is no vaccine available for the prevention of canine influenza at this time. Prevention of dog flu lies mainly on the dog owner's consciousness of the disease. Be extra cautious when you are bringing your dog to a place where it will be in close contact with many other dogs, because respiratory diseases can spread fast in these circumstances. If it has been part of your habit or routine to leave your dog in a dog care facility, make sure to ask about what measures they are taking to prevent respiratory diseases from entering their premises and posing danger to the dogs there. Also, make sure that they have a special facility to isolate infected dogs from the healthy dogs to prevent transmission of the canine influenza.