How to Protect your Dog from the Flu

dog flu

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Flu at dogs is contagious respiratory disease caused by a specific influenza virus type A, which is called” the flu”. This is a disease of dogs, people do not get sick. The virus first appeared at horses, and then mutated into a form that is contagious to dogs. Grip dogs are not associated with swine or bird flu, which in recent years have been in the limelight.

Flu at dogs was first discovered as a cause of respiratory infection in the group of greyhound racing in 2004 and since then has continued to expand primarily in dogs who are in close contact, most often in kennels and shelters for dogs. Symptoms are similar to, but sometimes more intense than the “infectious cough” that causes Bordetella. They include fever, non-productive dry cough, loss of appetite, intolerance to physical activity and lethargy. For dogs with pre-existing heart or lung disease, influenza can be fatal due to the development of secondary bacterial pneumonia, the most serious consequences of this disease.

dog flu 1

Overall, the mortality rate of influenza dogs is very low (less than 1%). Although the disease is highly contagious, about half of dogs can be positive for influenza virus without the appearance of clinical symptoms. Despite this good prognosis, it is recommended that all dogs exhibiting clinical symptoms receive supportive therapy. Secondary bacterial infection can progress rapidly and cause a very high fever, shock and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (bleeding disorder in which the ability of coagulation interrupted, so the pet can bleed). These several symptoms are easily avoided by applying the therapy at the beginning of the disease. Specific treatments for complicated cases of influenza include the application of intravenous infusion to compensate for fluid and electrolytes, diuretics (drugs that help eliminate the accumulated fluid in the lungs) and broad-spectrum antibiotics. Before you develop complications are generally sufficient only cough medicines that reduce inflammation of the trachea, which could lead to secondary bacterial infections. The veterinarian will evaluate after the examination which treatment is best for your pet.

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