Canine influenza, otherwise known as the dog flu, is a highly contagious illness that could potentially be deadly to your dog. Here’s what you should know about it:
- The illness, also known as CI, is a highly contagious viral infection that can hit dogs and cats. It is a Type A influenza virus and two strains have been found in the U.S.: H3N8 and H3N2.
- Dog flu can be transmitted through droplets or aerosols with respiratory secretions from coughing, barking and sneezing.
- Dogs in kennels, day care facilities and shelters are at higher risk of infection.
- The virus can be viable on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours and on hands for 12 hours.
- H2N8 has an incubation period of one to five days as clinical signs show two to three days after exposure usually.
- The H3N2 strain has an incubation period of two to eight days.
- The morbidity rate of the illness is 80% and the mortality rate is about 10%.
- Canine influenza virus infects and replicates inside cells located in the respiratory tract from the nasal lining to the terminal airways, causing rhinitis, tracheitis, bronchitis and bronchiolotis.
- Dog flu usually causes respiratory problems and it can happen during any time of the year as there is no dog flu season.
- Take your dog to the veterinary if he shows symptoms of a canine influenza as treatment can help eliminate the illness in two to three weeks.
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