Canine Flu in Nashville: What You Need To Know

Man’s best friend is definitely the canine. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) about 60.2 million U.S. households own a dog as a pet for a grand total of 89.7 million! It is our responsibility as pet owners to provide the best care for our pets that we are able to offer.  Part of caring for our pets includes prevention of life-threatening diseases through appropriate vaccination. This is particularly important when a species-specific virus such as CIV is spreading and reaches your area.  Unfortunately, there have been confirmed cases of CIV in Nashville.

Canine Influenza: What You Need to KnowBlack lab laying on a couch looking at the camera

  • Canine influenza [https://www.cdc.gov/flu/other/canine-flu/keyfacts.html#what], or dog flu, is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs.
  • Both strains of canine influenza have been reported in Tennessee, and now Metro Nashville.
  • These viruses are not seasonal.
  • Canine flu H3N8 originated in horses, spread to dogs, and now spreads between dogs.
  • Canine flu H3N2 originated in birds, spread to dogs, and can now spread between dogs and from an infected dog to cats.
  • Dogs housed in kennels and shelters are most at-risk.
  • Almost all dogs exposed to canine flu will become infected.
  • The CDC assessed canine influenza as “low risk” of becoming a threat to humans.
  • Canine influenza can lead to pneumonia in otherwise healthy dogs.
  • The virus is spread through respiratory droplets produced through coughing and sneezing of infected dogs.  The virus can also be spread indirectly via people or objects (clothing, bowls, leashes, collars, kennels).

Signs and Symptoms of Canine Influenza

It may be difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of canine flu, especially if your pet already has respiratory issues. The most obvious signs are cough and runny nose, however, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite may also occur. Some dogs may have no symptoms at all while others develop pneumonia and severe illness. Secondary bacterial infections may also arise during the infection. The severe form of this disease which includes the symptoms above including pneumonia can be life-threatening or even fatal. Since it is spreading across the U.S. and cases are now reported in Nashville, pet owners should have dogs checked out for any changes in health. Coughing in dogs is most often caused by kennel cough, collapsing trachea, bronchitis, asthma, and heart disease—all reasons to visit the vet!

Pet Diagnosis, Treatment, and Routine Care

As with any other disease, prevention is best!  If your dog has not already been vaccinated for CIV, please make an appointment today to have your dog vaccinated.  Call us at 615-750-2377 to schedule your dog’s appointment to be vaccinated.

If your dog has symptoms that point to canine flu, it’s important to call your veterinarian. Your dog may be just fine at home with supportive care, but he or she may need fluids or medications to help with recovery. Seeing your vet and having your dog properly diagnosed may help to stop the spread of canine flu among your own pets and other dogs you may have contact with. Let your vet know that your dog is showing symptoms so that the clinic can take necessary precautions.

Trust 5 Points Animal Hospital with Your Dog

We urge you to take your ill dogs and puppies to the veterinarian so proper diagnosis and treatment can be completed.  Trust your furry loved ones with 5 Points Animal Hospital, we can help prevent canine flu in your healthy dogs too. Bring in your dogs to be vaccinated and prevent canine flu altogether. Schedule with 5 Points today by calling 615-750-2377.

Remember to exercise caution when caring for your pets, making sure to wash hands, maintain routine care at your local veterinarian, and keep them updated on all vaccinations.

Still have questions about canine flu? Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to ask the experts.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Canine Flu in Nashville: What You Need To Know

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