Canine Influenza Virus has made its way to Tempe. It is highly contagious among dogs, and is spread through sneezing, coughing, barking, as well as shared bowls of food, water, collars, leashes, and is also spread to dogs by human contact with infected dogs. The Canine Influenza Virus remains alive and able to infect on solid surfaces for 48 hours! It remains alive on clothing for 24 hours and on hands for 12 hours. Once a dog is exposed, there will be 2-4 days until symptoms develop – they may appear healthy, but this time frame is when the dog is most contagious and at risk of spreading it to other dogs. Some infected dogs may shed the virus for nearly a month. You may wonder, is my dog at risk for Canine Influenza? All dogs regardless of age or breed are at risk of contracting the virus.
Some dogs may recover quickly from Canine Influenza, but frequently the virus can turn into severe pneumonia or bronchitis, and can contribute to other respiratory bacterial infections, and even death. Around 20% of dogs who become infected with the virus will not show any signs of illness, but they can still spread it to other dogs. What are the symptoms of Canine Influenza? Coughing, nasal discharge, sneezing, lethargy, lack of appetite, and fever are all signs of Canine Influenza, but testing is required to definitively diagnose it. If your dog is diagnosed with Canine Influenza, it is best to keep your dog isolated from other dogs for at least four weeks to minimize the spread of the virus.
Medications and fluids are the typical treatment for Canine Influenza, although occasionally antibiotics will be prescribed as well. There is a vaccine for Canine Influenza, which consists of an initial vaccine and a booster vaccine 3-4 weeks later, and then is repeated annually.
Where is my dog more likely to contract Canine Influenza? If your dog goes to any of the dog parks, grooming facilities, or boarding facilities in Tempe and the surrounding area, we highly recommend vaccination to help prevent the spread of this dangerous and contagious virus.