Canine Influenza (Dog Flu)

Canine influenza or dog flu originated in horses and is a highly infectious virus.

About Canine Influenza

The virus that causes dog flu, Influenza Type A (H3N8) was found in racing greyhounds in the USA and showed that equine influenza had been transmitted across species into dogs. In the UK two cases of equine influenza were found in foxhounds in 2002 but both cases were isolated and not spread.

Influenza is an infectious disease that affects the respiratory tract and symptoms usually appear within 1 to 3 days. Influenza is spread by inhalation of the virus from the atmosphere.

Symptoms Of Canine Influenza

The first symptoms of influenza are often that the dog seems lethargic, depressed and develops a harsh, dry cough. Other symptoms include a high temperature, lack of appetite, rapid breathing, discharge from the eyes and cloudy or green discharge from the nose. Diagnosis of influenza can be made by blood tests.

Treatment Of Canine Influenza

Due to its infectious nature any dog suffering from influenza should be isolated immediately and completely rested. The dog will usually recover naturally within 2 to 3 weeks but occasionally complications such as lung damage can occur.

Prevention Of Canine Influenza

There is no vaccination against canine influenza in the UK as canine influenza is not a current problem. However, in the USA where canine influenza exists a vaccination is available.