Canine influenza is a very contagious respiratory disease in dogs that is often referred to as "dog flu." The canine influenza virus (CIV) is relatively new. It was originally a horse virus that spread to dogs. Because it's such a new virus, almost all dogs are susceptible to infection due to lack of natural immunity.
Infection is spread by direct contact, respiratory secretions, or it can be picked up by an infected object such a water bowl or toy. Most dogs that develop CIV infection have a mild illness, such as cough, runny nose, and fever. About 20% of infected dogs develop more severe infections such as pneumonia or death.
The best treatment is prevention. An approved canine influenza vaccine is available and we now recommend this as part of our yearly core vaccines for dogs.
For any questions or concerns regarding your dog and influenza, or to get your dog vaccinated, please call us at (773) 878-8002.
Dr. Alia Habhab ("Dr. Alia") has been working at Animal House of Chicago since July 2013. A recent graduate of Ross University Veterinary School, she finished her clinical year at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2013. Dr. Alia has a special interest in exotic animal medicine.