Fido’s flu

By Susan Aiello • Published: June 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Canine flu is spreading faster than a sprinting Greyhound. First detected in 2004 in racing dogs in Florida, this respiratory virus has been reported in 34 states as far north as Wisconsin and Washington.

The genetics of the virus suggest it jumped species from horses and can now spread and cause illness in dogs. The symptoms of canine flu are about the same as those of human flu, although the canine virus is not a risk to people. Most infected dogs develop mild cough, fever, runny nose and the blahs. In severe cases, pneumonia can develop.

The chance of infection is greater at places where dogs congregate, such as the dog park, kennel or groomer. Experts recommend dogs at high risk get vaccinated. Treatment consists of T-L-C and supportive veterinary care.

If your dog develops a persistent cough or other flu-like symptoms lasting more than a few days, contact your veterinarian.