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Beaver Lake Animal Hospital
26325 SE 39th Street
Issaquah, WA 98029
(425)557-0752


Beaver Lake Animal Hospital

26325 SE 39th Street
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425)557-0752

www.beaverlakeah.com


Canine Influenza


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Canine Influenza has recently been discussed on various internet sites and in the media.  The information as I understand it is that Canine Influenza (a virus) was initially an infection found in racing greyhounds, particularly in Florida.  It is believed that Canine Influenza is from a virus that crossed species' from horses from Equine Influenza.  The link would be that the dogs and horses had close proximity at race tracks.  Greyhounds were first detected to be getting sick with this flu over a year ago.  Now there is evidence that the virus is spreading outside of the initial area to multiple race tracks around the nation.  From there it is suspected the virus may be spread to other dogs.    

As the virus is spread, just as any virus can spread, some infected can become ill.  Those exposed will vary in their response to the virus.  The illness from infection with the virus will vary from being non-clinical, no apparent illness, to some pets becoming gravely ill.  The degree of affliction will vary based on several issues.  One issue is how healthy the pet is otherwise.  Normal healthy pets are less likely to show illness.  Older, immunocompromised, severely stressed or heavily exposed pets are more likely to show clinical signs.  Recovery from the virus will vary based on the above mentioned facts as well as how the pet is cared for.  Current reliable sources indicate that greater than 90% of the infected animal will make a full recovery.

If you suspect your dog may be ill for any reason, we recommend an examination by your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Canine Influenza is said to have some similarities to a common ailment called Infectious Tracheo-Bronchitis (ITB), also known commonly as kennel cough' caused by the bacteria Bordetella Bronchiseptica.   They both affect the respiratory tract and cause a cough.  Canine Influenza tends to cause a high fever and possibly a nasal discharge. 

Besides the similarities of the 2 disease dogs could have exposure to both diseases.  ITB is a bacterial disease that causes a cough and/or pneumonia in dogs.  It is normally treatable with antibiotics.  There currently is no proven treatment against Canine Influenza as it is a virus.  Patients benefit from supportive care such as being allowed to rest and keeping them well hydrated and nourished.  As with several other viruses that affect the respiratory tracts, some patients will benefit from antibiotic treatment to control secondary bacteria infections, or concurrent ITB infections.

There currently is no vaccination for Canine Influenza, but there is for Bordetella.  Other preventive measures that can be completed are to make sure your pet is otherwise healthy.  Follow your veterinarian's recommendations for well pet care.  Be sure your pet is on a nutritious balanced diet.  Address issues that cause stress on pets such be sure they have good oral health with clean teeth and no dental/periodontal disease.  Senior pets may have developed conditions that may not be readily apparent, so a senior blood panel and urine testing will help ensure normal organ function.

Testing is available for infection with this virus and other respiratory infectious agents.