Canine Flu In Chicago: How Does This Affect Your Dog?

In the past couple of days, several news outlets, including ABC News, TIME magazine, and CNN, have reported a rise in the number of canine influenza cases in the Chicago area. In the wake of this “outbreak” in Chicago, our doctors want to make sure you are well-informed about your pet’s health!
Here are some fast facts about canine influenza and what you can do to protect your dogs.

What is Canine Influenza?
Canine influenza, or “dog flu,” is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by an influenza A H3N8 virus (not a human influenza virus) that originated as an equine (horse) influenza virus.
How is the virus spread?

  • An infected dog can pass it to another dog through aerosolized respiratory secretions (panting, sneezing, etc.)
  • Canine contact with contaminated objects
  • By humans who move between infected and uninfected dogs

What are the symptoms?

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progress to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Should I be concerned with putting my dog in daycare or boarding at a kennel?
Dog owners should be aware that any situation that brings dogs together increases the risk of spread of communicable illnesses. As long as good infection control practices are in place, pet owners should not be overly concerned about putting dogs in training facilities, dog parks, kennels, or other areas frequented by dogs.1How can I protect my dog from Canine Influenza?
Since dogs have no natural immunity to this virus, the canine influenza vaccination may be recommended (and often required by doggie daycares and kennels) for any dog who interacts with large numbers of dogs.What should I do if I think my dog has Canine Influenza?

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian so that he or she can examine and evaluate your dog and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.We know that any disease outbreak, especially those regarding our furry friends, are very scary. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office.