It’s Flu Season! Has Your Dog Gotten His Shot?

Is there a Dog Flu (Canine Influenza) Season?

We know when it’s flu season here in Florida; the signs go up at pharmacies for flu vaccines, letters go home with children from teachers, our place of employment may have someone come in to administer shots, and people start walking around with Band-Aids on their upper arms. But what about your pooch? Have they gotten their dog flu vaccine yet?

Dogs can get the flu (Canine Influenza) as we do.

Dogs can get the flu too; Canine Influenza was first identified in Florida in 2004. Thankfully, it does have a low mortality rate, but there is a chance that, if left untreated, a secondary bacterial infection can develop. Canine Influenza is extremely contagious, spreading from dog to dog by sharing toys or water bowls, as well as through the air. Experts say it is not contagious to humans, however.

Some common symptoms for dog flu.

Some dogs can contract the flu and fight off the infection without ever showing symptoms, but for those that do exhibit signs of the virus, they include:

• Cough
• Runny nose
• Fever
• Lack of appetite
• Lethargy

It can be hard to tell the difference between Canine Influenza and other respiratory issues, so a trip to the vet is advised. A mild case of the flu can escalate to a severe one quickly, with a case of pneumonia developing too, so close observation along with vet care is important. Though there is no prescription treatment for this virus, there are medications that can make your dog more comfortable as he recovers, and antibiotics may be required if a secondary bacterial infection does develop.

To help keep your dog from contracting the flu in the first place, we recommend that healthy dogs receive the vaccine. This is especially true if your dog visits dog parks, kennels, or day care. Call us today if you have any questions and to schedule your dog’s Canine Influenza Vaccine.