You asked about the flu in dogs…..
The ‘dog flu’ is caused by the canine influenza virus, a dog specific virus. The virus causes sneezing, coughing , and fever and leaves the dog’s respiratory tract vulnerable to secondary bacterial infection. The cough can last for days to weeks. The virus is spread via aerosolized virus when infected dogs cough and sneeze or when a dog come into contact with an object contaminated with the virus. It is possible for an infected dog to spread the virus before appearing ill.
The virus continues to spread relatively slowly through the dog population.
A vaccination against the 2 strains of canine influenza is available. We are currently recommending this vaccination for dogs that are boarded in kennels, attend dog daycare or have contact with shelter dogs as these dogs are most at risk for contracting canine influenza. Many of these facilities are now requiring this vaccination.
Thanks to Cheryl for submitting this question. Request a blog topic on our ask a doctor page.
Dr. Schultz graduated from Cornell University in 1997 and joined Friendship in 2004. Dr. Schultz enjoys helping people and their pets in a direct way. Her professional interests include emergency medicine and general practice.