We don’t hear about it often, but our dogs can get the flu too. Luckily, we cannot catch the flu from them or vise-versa. Canine flu is quite as unpleasant for our canine friends as it is for us and, at the moment, cases are increasing across the DFW area.
Canine Flu on the Rise
Canine Flu is a highly contagious disease between dogs that is spread via respiratory droplets (usually by sneezing, licking, or sniffing dogs or other objects). Because of increased exposure to other pets at boarding facilities and groomers during the holidays, it is easy to see how this disease can quickly spread.
Across North Texas, many pet shelters and clinics have reported outbreaks of dog flu in their facilities, some of which briefly suspended adoptions earlier this fall. It is a common misconception that Canine Flu is a seasonal virus. However, the Canine Flu is not seasonal. Infections can occur any time during the year, but we do tend to see more dogs congregating in places like doggy daycare centers or boarding facilities during the holidays, so cases rise around this time of year.
Symptoms and Treatment
Dogs that catch the flu appear lethargic and uninterested in socialization. Other symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and achiness.
Symptoms can last between 1-3 weeks, but it usually takes 7-10 days for the illness to run its course. It takes about 2 days for symptoms to develop in dogs, and owners may not know their dog is contagious until it’s too late.
Since there is no cure for the canine flu, full service veterinarians are likely to treat symptoms by recommending antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications or increasing fluid intake. But ultimately, the best treatment is prevention.
How to Protect your Pet
The best way to protect your dog from the flu is by getting the Canine Flu vaccine, which is an initial two-shot series that requires an annual booster. The Canine Flu vaccine is hard to find this season as there is a shortage in the vaccine supply, however, TCAP has a full stock of Canine Flu vaccines and a caring team of veterinary professionals ready to help you protect your pet this holiday season.
Canine Flu vaccines are $20 per vaccine and are available on a walk-in basis during TCAP’s walk-in vaccine events!
We hope to serve you and your pet soon!