As you know, flu season is here…but it’s not just humans that are affected. Veterinarians are warning dog lovers to get their furry family members vaccinated with a newly released drug after an outbreak of canine influenza, or dog flu, has spread rapidly in the US. The dog flu is highly contagious and has spread in at least 46 US states, and the disease is serious enough that it can kill.


While the current risk for the dog flu here in Canada is much lower, two rescue dogs brought to Canada recently have being diagnosed with what are believed to be the country’s first cases of dog flu so it’s a good idea o keep an eye out for the highly contagious virus. Furthermore, if your dog spends a lot of time with other dogs (especially dogs in the US through travel or adoption), you may want to consider getting Fido checked out. Humans can also spread the virus by touching a dog or item contaminated with the virus and then transferring that to other dogs, so be sure to regularly wash your hands after contact with a sick animal.


What should you be looking out for? Many of the symptoms are similar to that of the human flu: coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever, lethargy, decreased appetite and difficulty breathing. Dogs with the flu can be contagious for a couple days before symptoms appear and for as long as three weeks.
If you suspect your pooch as the disease your vet can do a blood test, but it’s advised you call ahead due to how contagious it is so the vet clinic can take the proper precautions to avoid the spread.


Researchers say they believe there’s no risk of the virus being spread to humans, but to take precaution if you have a furry friend you care about in your family.






-Kevin and Sonia 


Filed under: canine, dog flu, health, Kevin and Sonia