Canine Influenza 101

Just like humans, dogs can become ill. And, similar to humans, dogs can cough, get runny noses, and even come down with the flu! While there aren’t many fatal cases of dogs dying from canine influenza, here is all of the basic information you should know about the disease, just in case your dog’s health becomes a primary concern:

Is Canine Influenza Contagious To Humans?

While other animal-specific influenza viruses have taken a toll on human kind, like avian and swine flu, there are no known cases of canine influenza being transmitted to humans through interactions with dogs. Additionally, there have been no cases of humans ever contracting canine influenza.

What Is Dog Flu?

To this day, there are two different types of canine influenza: H3N8 and H3N2. The first of these viruses, H3N8 has been around for forty-plus years. Originating in horses (equine influenza), H3N8 was found in a number of greyhounds in 2004, who all showed symptoms of a respiratory illness. This particular strain of the flu spread quickly due to close living quarters in kennels and shelters.

Similar to H3N8, the H3N2 virus came from another animal: birds. However, this strain is unlike the strain of avian influenza that can effect humans, meaning that unless it went under a new mutation and adaptation, humans cannot get this type of bird flu. Found in South Korea in 2007, the first case of H3N2 was only discovered in America in early 2015.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Canine Influenza?

Your dog might have canine influenza if they show signs of a cough, runny nose, and fever. It’s important to note that not all dogs will show the same symptoms, and not all dogs will show the same level of severity of symptoms.

However, if you believe that your dog could be sick with anything – canine influenza or not – it’s best to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians to keep your best friend happy and healthy!

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