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Dog gets the flu? Find out what the symptoms are and how to treat them

Contrary to what many people think, dogs do get the flu. In the same way that humans have a low immune system and are susceptible to the flu virus, with dogs, the same occurs.

But take it easy, the human being is not able to pass the disease to the canines and does not live and versa.

Although the flu is caused by airborne viruses and bacteria , a dog can only be infected by another dog. Therefore, it is indicated that they do not stay in stuffy environments with infected animals, as the risk of spreading the disease is greater.

The flu in dogs is also known as “kennel cough”, it can happen at all times of the year, especially in winter, when temperatures drop and also affect dogs.

Contagion can be done via contact with a sick animal, either in the same environment or through the air (sneezing) or objects contaminated by respiratory secretions.

Next, learn about the signs that your furry friend has the flu and also, how to treat and prevent your puppy from suffering from the effects of this disease. Check out:

What are the symptoms when the dog gets the flu?

Incredible as it may seem, the symptoms of a dog with the flu do not change much from humans, but it must be noted that the virus that causes the disease in both cases are different.

Influenza viruses in humans can be categorized into A, B and C, the H1N1 and the H3 N2.

In dogs, the virus is H3N8 is a specific type of influenza virus that affects only dogs.

The canine flu virus can remain alive on surfaces for up to 48 hours, that is, on floors, toys and others. On clothes, for just 24 hours and in the hands of a responsible person for 12 hours.

The dog has the flu for a period of between 2 and 4 days , which can last for 10 days depending on the case.

The symptoms that will be reported below, may take 2 days after contamination to appear, however, this is the period in which the virus is most prolific, therefore, your dog can spread the disease.

Dogs can also have:

  • Very dry cough
  • nasal secretions
  • sneezing
  • Choking sensation, very common during coughing or sneezing
  • Weakness

In more severe cases:

  • Fever
  • eye secretions
  • Apathy
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Anorexia
  • breathing difficulties

Obviously, the tutor will suspect that the dog has the flu only when the symptoms begin to appear, in some cases, it is necessary to carry out an antibody test to have a more effective result, since many have very mild symptoms, however, they can contaminate other animals around.

To carry out this test, two blood samples are taken, one is taken at the moment the flu is suspected, and the other, after 14 days. If there are nasal secretions, they can also be evaluated to confirm the presence of the virus.

If the dog has the flu for a long time and the symptoms get worse, it is important to take it to the veterinarian, as the disease can develop into pneumonia and lead the dog to death.

Treatment for when the dog gets the flu

In reality, there is no specific way of treating dogs with the flu, the specialist evaluates each case in detail. However, the first thing you should do is make sure that it really is this disease, as the symptoms can be confused with other health conditions.

The best way to have this confirmation is by taking your pet to the vet.

If very strong symptoms or pneumonia are detected, the dog needs special care such as the intake of antibiotics. In more serious cases, the use of breathing apparatus may be necessary.

Understand that dogs don’t talk, they can’t express the real pain they feel. A flu can bring health complications that can be quite dangerous, especially if he is a puppy or elderly. So take it to the specialist.

It is important to note that infected dogs must be isolated from other dogs for a period of 2 weeks. This means that you should avoid socializing with other dogs during this period.

If you have another dog at home, keep them separated, in addition, wash objects, surfaces, dishes and clothes that were in contact with the dog with the flu. Simply sharing these items can transmit the flu virus.

It is expressly forbidden to offer dogs homemade recipes for the flu, as mentioned above, the flu in humans is totally different from the canine flu, in addition to not solving it, it can also promote a worsening of the furry health condition.

Only the veterinarian can indicate the treatment for canine flu , as he takes into account the age of the dog, weight, breed and state of the disease.

If medication is needed, the tutor’s role is to administer it correctly, in addition to other care such as:

  • Keep the dog always hydrated , offer water at least 5 times a day;
  • Make him eat, it is certain that he will not have an appetite, but encourage him so that he can recover faster. Try offering your favorite food;
  • Accommodate the dog in a warm corner, don’t let him catch cold air currents;
  • Do not bathe the dog during its recovery, this can increase the chances of catching pneumonia;
  • Inhalation devices can help the dog breathe better, put some of the steam close to him so he can feel the benefits;
  • DON’T offer your puppy teas and soups, room temperature water is enough;

Your affection and care for the puppy can make all the difference in recovery. Be patient, full improvement may take up to 3 weeks.

How to prevent canine flu?

The veterinarian always addresses the need to follow the vaccination protocol with dog tutors. In fact, the available vaccine does not prevent and even less treat the disease, however, it reduces the symptoms and also minimizes the severity of the flu in the furry.

Another important fact is that the vaccine reduces the amount of virus that can be spread in the environment. That is, vaccinated dogs are less likely to transmit the virus to other furry ones when compared to those that are not vaccinated.

The vaccine is recommended especially for dogs that live in houses with other dogs, kennels or that usually socialize with other pets in condos and parks.

An article published by the blog UOL points out that Chinese dogs were diagnosed with the H1N1 influenza virus that jumped from pigs to dogs. The author of the study says that this flu virus is interacting with each other and that it can mix and create new forms.

An extra host for H1N1 is cause for concern among the authors of the research and one of the attempts to restrict the virus in pigs is the vaccination of dogs .

One more reason for you to inform yourself about vaccinating your pet. If you have questions about the vaccine against canine flu , talk to the veterinarian, he will know how to guide you better on this subject.

Another way to prevent your dog from getting the flu is to protect it against external agents that may affect it. Therefore, always maintain a good diet to strengthen immunity, hydrate it and, above all, avoid animal clusters.

Of course, it is important that he socializes with other dogs, but in winter periods, it would be ideal for walks not to be in places where other animals may have gone, as the virus can remain active on surfaces for 48 hours.

If you realize that the dog is showing flu symptoms, take it to the vet. In addition, arrange for the furry to be isolated if you have other animals at home, it is essential to prevent the spread of the virus.

Now that you know which dog gets the flu, be extra careful with your furry friend. Although most cases are mild and heal easily, there are exceptions of aggravation of the disease that can even kill.

Always pay attention to your furry friend, if you notice anything unusual, seek expert help and share good times with your best friend for much longer.



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