You sometimes ask yourself, "Can dogs get the flu?" when your canine is acting differently. The answer is YES.
Dogs do get sick from time to time and there are several illnesses that show the same symptoms to that of human illnesses.
Canine influenza was first found when racing greyhounds became sick. Canine influenza is caused by a virus called H3N8 originally found in horses and has been around for several decades.
For dogs, acquiring this flu is not that serious but there are cases when the dogs will acquire some serious symptoms.
There are also instances when a dog may have the flu virus but have no symptoms of it. Instead, they are carriers that can pass it to other dogs as well.
According to CDC, almost 80% of dogs will acquire the flu.
The flu symptoms of canine influenza are those similar to kennel cough. If your dog has kennel cough that lasts more than ten to twelve days, then it's likely canine influenza. Along with kennel cough, your dog may also experience a low fever.
In some cases, the dog flu symptoms are also like pneumonia, and if that happens it's a good idea to take your dog to the veterinarian.
Another flu symptom that appears when your dog has the flu is a thick, yellowish mucus discharge from the nose of your dog. If that ever happens, then you should keep your dog away from your other pets because it is contagious and the virus can be passed on to other dogs upon contact.
As for humans getting the human flu from their dogs with the canine influenza, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no case that it ever happened. Public health agencies are investigating this kind of issue and, so far, passing on the canine flu virus to dog owners has proven to not be viable.
Scientists have been working on formulating a vaccine for canine influenza, but they have not developed one yet. As for the vaccine for kennel cough, even though the symptoms may be the same for canine influenza, it wouldn't work for the flu.
So that means that the best way to keep your dog from getting the canine flu is to keep your dog away from dogs that are sick and wash your hands after petting other dogs.
Of course you can also try to keep your dog healthy with general proper care. Dogs have an immune system too, so keeping it strong is always beneficial. Not long ago our dog became quite ill (we suspect rat poisoning) and I decided to mix Leaf Greens into his food. He ate it right up and I am confident it played a significant role in his recovery.
If your pets are like family to you, then you should pay more attention to them when they are acting sick. If your children ask you, "Can dogs get the flu?" you'll know what to tell them to help your canine friends.
If ever you suspect flu symptoms in your dog, give the dog lots of fluids and good food (and possible supplements), but you may also want to consider the option of taking your dog to the veterinarian for further treatment if he doesn't seem to improve.
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