Canine Influenza Virus – The Facts on Dog Flu
What is Canine Influenza?
The Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), commonly referred to as Dog Flu, is a highly contagious, respiratory disease that causes coughing, nasal discharge, fever, and in more severe cases pneumonia.
The disease is spread by direct contact, or coming in contact with objects contaminated with the virus (i.e., water bowls, blankets, clothing, equipment, kennels, cages, etc.).
Canine Influenza is primarily found in areas where there is a high population/aggregation of dogs, such as kennels/boarding facilities, shelters, dog parks, grooming facilities, dog shows, and field trial events. The majority of infected dogs have a mild form of the disease, while some some dogs can be asymptomatic (showing no signs).
More severely affected dogs may develop pneumonia and may need to be hospitalized, treated with intravenous fluids, antibiotics and supportive care. There is a very small percentage of dogs that may succumb to the disease.
The dog flu virus was identified in Florida in 2004 when there was a severe respiratory outbreak in racing greyhounds. It was found that there was a mutation of the equine influenza virus that infected the dogs. This strain of canine influenza is called H3N8.
Senior Pets May Exhibit Subtle, but Important, Changes in Behavior
Our pets age faster than we do. They reach puberty anywhere from as early as six months to as late as 12-16 months of age. Now compare that age to when humans reach puberty. The number isn't expediential for the life of the pet, but over time our pets' life span is very short compared to ours. Your pet may still be acting very much normal, eating and drinking regularly, playing and still very active.
As your pet ages there can be very subtle changes that are taking place. The kidneys could be in an early stage of insufficiency or failure, the liver enzymes may be elevated, there may be an increased white cell count or low red cell count. These changes can take place without exemplifying any clinical signs or symptoms that are evident to you or even the doctor. Certain breeds are predisposed to diseases and conditions and detecting them early will help in better management, treatment, and maybe even prevention of the problem.