If your dog has signs of the flu, it could be just that….

by Danielle Cotterman on December 21, 2011 at 5:42 am

If your dog has signs of the flu, it could be just that….

According to Veterinarian Jodi Houser the Canine Influenza Virus is a respiratory infection in dogs that is often refereed to as "Dog Flu." Symptoms are similar to a human cold and often times include coughing, a runny nose and discharge. She said the virus is a relatively new virus, so almost all dogs are susceptible.

"At this time dogs don’t have any known immunity because they have not been exposed to it as a population and we have not been routinely vaccinating against it," said Houser. "So I think that anytime a dog is sick with a respiratory illness they should be seen by their veterinarian and then we’ll give them medication, we’ll advice them what to watch for. It can be come life threatening."

Houser said the virus is treatable and a vaccine is available. Although the Dog Flu is not a seasonal virus, it is a concern this time of year as more pet owners consider placing their dog in boarding centers.

"There’s always a concern because they are in close quarters, this is spread by aerosol transmission," explained Houser. ‘"Just like when people have a cold and they sneeze on someone they can get their cold, it’s the same thing, a dogs walking by another dogs cage, it sneezes, they can get what ever that dog has."

Houser said she has yet to hear of any known cases in the area but does say it is traveling across the U.S. If you plan on boarding your pet Houser suggests you check that they require up-to-date vaccines in all visiting pets.