Canine Influenza

What is Canine Influenza?
Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by an Influenza Type A virus.

What Clinical Disease Is Associated With The Canine Influenza Virus?
Dogs can have a mild form of the infection and have a soft, moist cough. Some dogs can present with a dry cough similar to “kennel cough”.  Signs with the mild form may resolve without treatment.
With the severe form of the disease, dogs can have very high fevers and signs of pneumonia. These signs can progress rapidly can cause death.

What Dogs Can Get The Disease?
Virtually all dogs are susceptible.  About 50% to 80% of infected dogs will show the mild form.

How is the Disease Treated?
The mild form is treated like any other mild upper respiratory disease such as kennel cough.  Cough medicines may be provided.  Antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections are usually restricted to higher-risk dogs.
Dogs with the severe form are treated with fluid therapy and broad spectrum antibiotics. Hospitalization may be required.

Can Humans Get The Canine Influenza Virus?
There is no evidence the disease is transmissible to humans.

Is There A Vaccine for the Canine Influenza Virus?
Yes.  This vaccine requires two doses 3 -4 weeks apart.  This vaccine may reduce the signs and severity of the disease but will not prevent infection.

Adapted from Mark Rishniw, Veterinary Information Network Medical FAQs


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