Reports from CBS News reveal that cases of canine influenza are on the rise in some areas of the United States, including Philadelphia, North Texas, and Minneapolis. Although the virus is not the same as the influenza viruses that affect humans, it can be just as troubling for dogs. Canine influenza is caused by two types of viruses: H3N8 and H3N2.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has clarified that canine influenza has never been reported to infect humans, and the virus is not typically life-threatening for dogs. However, veterinarians still advise dog owners to be aware of the symptoms and know what to do if their furry friend contracts the virus.
Common symptoms to look out for include a cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite. Some dogs with the virus may also develop pneumonia. Recovery time for pups is around two to three weeks, according to the CDC.
If a dog owner observes their pet coughing, sneezing, or showing nasal discharge, they should seek medical attention for their furry friend. In an interview with PopSugar, Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinarian and pet health expert on Rover’s Dog People Panel, emphasized the importance of seeking medical attention and getting a laboratory test for diagnosis.
All dogs, regardless of breed or size, are susceptible to the flu, and an infected dog can spread the virus to other canines through direct contact, coughing, sneezing, contaminated objects, and even through people moving between infected and uninfected dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Treatment for the virus may include antibiotics and hospitalization for severe cases. Vaccines for the H3N8 and H3N2 canine flu viruses are available in the United States, as noted by the CDC.