Canine Influenza: What You Need to Know


By now, you have probably heard about the Canine Influenza out break that recently occurred in the Chicago area.

The purpose of today’s Medical Monday is to provide you with more information about this epidemic so that you can keep your dog safe. This will be short and sweet.

What is Canine Influenza?

According to the ASPCA, canine influenza virus, or H3N8, is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. The virus affects the respiratory system and is considered highly contagious.

Who is susceptible?

Because the virus is new (according to PetMD, it was first diagnosed in Florida in 2004), any dog of any age and vaccine profile can contract this virus (ASPCA).

How does the disease spread?

The disease can spread through contaminated items or direct contact (CDC).


What are the symptoms?

Firstly, it is important to understand that the symptoms can be classified in two separate categories; mild and severe.

A mild case will include a wet cough and nasal discharge. Typically, theses symptoms will last 10 to 30 days (PetMD).

A severe case includes fever, pneumonia, coughing blood, and difficulty breathing (PetMD).

According to PetMD, the general symptoms associated with this disease include:





Signs of Physical Discomfort

Are humans also at risk?

According to the CDC humans are not at risk for this type of flu. Thus far, there are no reported cases.

What should I do if I think my dog might have Canine Influenza?

Immediately make an appointment with your veterinarian, and keep your dog separate from any other dogs you may have in your house. This disease is serious and can spread easily, so please take all necessary precautions.

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5 Comment

  1. Reply
    April 13, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Warmer weather should impede its spread.
    Kismet recently posted…Don’t Finish that Bottle of WineMy Profile

  2. Reply
    Jen Gabbard
    April 14, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Thank you so much for posting this; I’ve seen so many posts ranging from full spread panic to “just another way for vets to make money.” It’s great to see some practical advice for a change.
    Jen Gabbard recently posted…18 Excellent Reasons To Adopt a GreyhoundMy Profile

  3. Reply
    Cathy Armato
    April 14, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Thank you for addressing the canine flu issue, it’s really been scaring me and I’m afraid to travel w/ my dogs! Kismet’s comment above says that warmer weather should impede the spread, I’m hoping that’s correct? I’m sharing this, thanks again for posting this info.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
    Cathy Armato recently posted…Consistency Is Key To Your Dog’s #PerfectWeight and Healthier LifestyleMy Profile

  4. I hope this virus is conquered soon. With 3 dogs and 4 cats (and I know the virus can spread to cats), it’s kind of scary. Nothing to panic about, but good to be informed.

    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats
    Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats recently posted…Dog Cave: Finding Safety and Security Under the DeskMy Profile

  5. Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for this awesome post, we hope more vibrant actions can be taken to contain this from spreading beyond our control. Though we pet owners have a role to play here, so as to avoid this spreading, i would suggest we keep our pets at a closer proximity and if possible avoid unnecessary walk. These times are critical.

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