Just a few days ago, CBS News 24 covered an outbreak of dog flu in the Chicago area. Here at NWBR we often deal with kennel cough, but we currently have a dog from California named Pudgy, that has developed pneumonia. He is on Abutirol and antibiotics through a nebulizer as well as another antibiotic given in pill form.
The virus is extremely contagious among dogs that come in to contact with each other but not amongst humans. Like most flu viruses it can be spread through the air and by close contact. Dogs most at risk are young, old and those suffering from immune system problems.
1. Dog Flu Symptoms:
So what are the symptoms that you should be looking out for? Dog flu usually starts out with Coughing and sneezing and difficulty with breathing. Infected dogs can develop a Fever (103 to 107 degrees), and can have a runny nose with a Nasal Discharge that produces a thick yellow/green mucus. They may also become lethargic and lose their appetite. If your dog's temperature reaches 105°, head to the vet immediately.
2. How is Dog Flu Spread:
Dogs don’t have a natural immunity to the dog flu virus and so can be easily spread. An infected dog can pass the virus through sneezing or panting. The virus can also be spread through your dog coming in contact with contaminated objects and by people who are in contact with contaminated dogs.
3. What to do if you think your dog has dog flu:
if your dog is showing symptoms of coughing that lasts longer than 2 days combined with other symptoms such as the symptoms we have listed, then you should contact your vet immediately.
Your vet will perform a test to see if your dog has the virus and depending on the results will prescribe a treatment plan.
4. Preventing Dog Flu:
Best ways to prevent dog flu is to keep your dog away from other infected dogs. If you do take your dog to a dog park then take their own dishes and toys. Try to prevent your dog coming in to contact with other dog’ noses.
If you are putting your dog in kennels ask if they have had any recent respitory outbreaks and were the dogs properly tested and isolated. Make sure the facility is clean and well ventilated and requires all dogs to be up to date with their vaccinations.
If you would like to donate to Pudgy's medical care, or veterinary care for other dogs in our rescue, please consider a donation: http://www.nwboxerrescue.org/#!donate/cfvg
Original video here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chicagos-canine-flu-outbreak-almost-an-epidemic-vets-say/
Text adapted from The Dog Lover website: http://www.thedoglover.club/deadly-dog-flu-outbreak-how-to-protect-your-dog