Canine flu: causes, symptoms and treatment
Like humans, our dogs can also get sick from the flu. However, humans are not likely to be contaminated with the flu from dogs .
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Conversely, dogs get contaminated with our flu, it is also extremely rare and there are few scientific reports about it, because the virus that commonly causes the flu in humans is of a different strain than the one that causes the flu in dogs.
If you suspect that your dog is with influenza continue reading this article from YourCatCareguide and discover the causes, symptoms and treatments for canine flu.
Causes of Canine Flu
Although canine influenza is not considered a zoonosis, ie a disease that is not transmitted to humans, a dog infected with the influenza virus can transmit the disease to another dog, since it is a highly contagious respiratory disease, in the case of an animal that has low immunity due to some other illness, a simple flu can become very worrisome.
The flu-causing virus in dogs was primarily reported in dogs of the Galgo race, a breed of running dogs in 2004, and was termed H3N8 , and is similar to the common influenza virus in humans, so it causes similar symptoms, but it is a more specific strain for dogs, as there are some immunological and organic differences between the species.
Interestingly, the H3N8 virus was a virus known to cause Influenza , or influenza, as it is popularly known, in horses, until it began to be reported in dogs. For this reason, currently, researchers believe that the virus has undergone adaptations to be able to infect dogs more easily, including another strain of H3N8 specific for dogs and another strain for horses.
That is, in short, the main cause of canine influenza is the transmission of the H3N8 virus by another dog, since it is a highly contagious virus.
How can the transmission of canine influenza occur
There is no restriction on the breed, age or sex of the animal, so any dog is prone to be infected with the influenza virus.
However, the dog’s immunity and environmental management are certainly contributing factors that may facilitate the entry of the virus. Generally, puppies and elderly dogs, or dogs that already have some chronic illness are the most likely to be infected.
Symptoms of Canine Flu
The symptoms in dogs are quite similar to those reported in humans. After exposure to the virus, it usually becomes asymptomatic in the first 2 to 5 days, which is the viral replication stage in the body. After the first few days, the pet may exhibit the following symptoms of canine influenza :
- Persistent cough.
- Coriza and a lot of runny nose.
- Diarrhea and malaise.
To find out if your dog has a fever and what to do, check out this other article by YourCatCareguide: How to know if your dog has a fever .
Canine flu or kennel cough
These symptoms closely resemble Canis Cough, or Kennel Cough, scientifically known as Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis, but are different diseases since they have different etiological agents. In Canis cough the virus that causes the disease is Bortedella bronchiseptica and the virus that causes canine or Influenza virus is Parainfluenza H3N8. To know more about Kennel Cough – symptoms and treatments see this other article from YourCatCareguide.
However, if the immunity of the animal is low and under inadequate environmental conditions, associated infections, ie an animal infected by a primary disease and not treated correctly, may worsen the clinical condition contracting another disease, therefore , the two diseases may be associated in the same animal.
Correct diagnosis of canine influenza
Only through the symptoms described above, it is possible to have a suspicion of what it is, however, as it has been seen, the diseases can have similar symptoms. And, only the veterinarian can request the laboratory examination for the correct diagnosis in order to prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
As a laboratory test, a specific antibody test can be performed by collecting blood samples. A test is done so there is suspicion and repeated after 10-14 days of the detection of signs and start of treatment. If the animal has nasal secretions or coryza, the secretion for the presence of the virus can also be tested.
How To Cure Canine Flu: Treatment
The use of human antivirals is not allowed in animals, because in the case of influenza in addition to being different viral strains, it is not known for sure what the side effects of these on our pets.
Therefore, there is no specific antiviral . However, it does not mean that there is no cure, the dog needs to have supportive treatment so that his immune system can fight the virus, which may include:
- Fluid therapy to prevent dehydration.
- Antipyretics for the case of fever.
- Antibiotics for the prevention of other infections.
Likewise, adequate hygiene should be carried out in the environment in which the animal lives, to avoid contamination of other animals, and to provide a good diet. They are factors that contribute to the immunity of the dog does not fall, making it prone to infection by diseases.
If you notice that your puppy has some of these symptoms above, and you suspect it to be the flu, take him to the vet right away, because delayed diagnosis and correct treatment can worsen your condition and can lead to pneumonia, complicating your condition.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
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