The respiratory virus in dogs: what is canine flu?

 The respiratory virus in dogs: what is canine flu?

The respiratory virus in dogs: what is canine flu?

Your dog coughs and has bright eyes and sneezes ... do you suspect canine flu? Don't panic: this infection of the respiratory tract is infrequent and can be treated very well with an adapted treatment. Here is all there is to know about this disease, its symptoms, and treatment.

What is the dogs flu? 

Dog flu is, as in humans, a disease that attacks the respiratory tract. It can eventually lead to pneumonia, which can be fatal. But don't worry, as soon as the symptoms are noticed in time, it can be treated very well. This virus cannot be transmitted to humans, even if it resembles human influenza. You cannot pass your flu on to your dog yourself. On the other hand, it is a highly contagious disease among animals, and it does not depend on a particular season. 

Good to know

There has never yet been a proven case of canine influenza in France. It can be found in South Korea and the United States, where, in 2004, greyhounds fell ill during a race. It is since this event that research has started on influenza viruses affecting dogs.

The respiratory virus in dogs: what is canine flu?

What are the symptoms of dog flu? 

There are many symptoms of dog flu (your pet may have some or all of them): 

  • watery, glassy eyes
  • Thick nasal discharge
  • Thrills and chills 
  • A persistent cough 
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • A lack of appetite
  • Unusual lethargy 
  • Dry gums 

But beware, coughing and sneezing can also be signs of other infections: from a simple cold to more severe heart disease. Only your veterinarian can determine the nature of the problem. 

The extra tip

Some natural foods are good ways to fight the discomfort of viruses affecting the respiratory system. Like honey and its recognized benefits to relieve coughs: the soothing action of nectar calms throat pain.

The respiratory virus in dogs: what is canine flu?

Which treatment? 

Without treatment, your dog will take between ten and twenty days to heal himself "on his own." Provided that he is perfectly hydrated and that you remain attentive to any signs of a worsening condition: he no longer eats at all, the fever is constant, and, after a few days, there is still no improvement. If the disease worsens, consult your veterinarian, who will know how to administer a treatment adapted to the progression of the disease:

- Antibiotics if there is an infection and/or pneumonia. 

- Corticosteroids to fight bronchial and pulmonary inflammation. 

The vet's opinion 

"Never give human medication to your dog! They can be fatal." 

Dr. Cรฉdric Vermetti

A few good gestures to put in place 

In addition to a possible veterinary treatment, there are some good reflexes to adopt in prevention:

- Since canine flu is highly contagious, avoid letting your dog come into contact with other animals of his species. 

- Make sure that your doggie always has something to drink: fresh and healthy water. 

- Place his basket in a warm and dry place, away from drafts. 

- Disinfect all his belongings: toys, stuffed animals, bowls. 

- For outings, you can dress your dog for the winter, especially if he is already sick. 

The respiratory virus in dogs: what is canine flu?

Protect your pet from the flu, but not only that. 

Your dog is part of your family, and you want to cover him in case of problems? Subscribing to dog insurance remains the best solution. Carrefour Assurance offers dog-cat insurance that covers part of the medical expenses in case of health problems. The dog flu will no longer scare you!

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