The rise in flu epidemic across the country, canine influenza is causing distress among pet parents. Although the majority of flu cases are not fatal, it can weaken your furry pal’s immune system. Moreover, the virus has a tendency of making your dog extremely sick. Flu in dogs can be tiresome for you and your dog as it requires frequent visits to vet and constant supervision of your dog’s health.
Canine influenza is contagious and places like dog parks, pet daycare, grooming parlors, and kennels are where most dogs get infected with the disease. Coughing or sneezing by only one infected dog is enough to contaminate other dogs in close proximity. Hence, avoiding such places will protect your buddy during the flu epidemic.
Dog flu may either be severe, or it may have mild signs. As a pet parent, you need to be aware of its signs and symptoms. Below are the main symptoms of canine influenza that can be observed in dogs infected with the virus –
- Shortness of breath
- Dry or moist cough
- Eye discharge
- Nasal discharge
- Loss of appetite
Fortunately, the mortality rate in dogs with flu is very low. The death rate is less than 10% in the dogs that are infected. Though, if the symptoms persist for a few days, you should pay a visit to the vet for further treatment.
Treatment of Dog Flu
The treatment of it is not very complex. Most vets advise fluid intake, rest, and some treatment for cough and fever. Only severe cases of influenza require hospitalization or the vet might suggest your dog be kept in quarantine until he is cured. It usually takes about 1-2 weeks for your dog to get fully recovered.
Nowadays, vaccines are also available to protect your furry pal during the flu epidemic. One round of vaccine protects your dog from the flu virus for a year. These vaccines aren’t 100% effective but they do lessen the risk of flu infection. Besides, these vaccinations are generally recommended for senior dogs or the dogs with the weak immune system. Thus, if your Fido is active and healthy, he might not need to get vaccinated.
Preventing Dog Flu
Prevention is always better than cure! Hence, follow the mentioned steps to prevent any kind of infection in your dog.
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotics or treatments that can weaken your pooch’s immunity.
- Don’t let your dog go near – or play with – other dogs that might be infected.
- Feed nutritious and well-balanced diet.
- Add supplements and herbs to your dog’s diet to boost the immune system and combat the inflammation.
- Wash your hands after returning home so you don’t transmit any virus to your pooch.
Caring For Dogs with Flu
For the treatment to work effectively and your dog’s quick recovery, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind. If your dog is infected with the flu virus, below points will assist you in taking care of your Fido
- Let him rest. If you have an active dog, ensure that he does minimal exercise so his body can heal quickly.
- Protect him from pollution. Dust particles and pollution will lead to more infection and coughing. Thus, keeping your Fido in the place where there are least irritants is ideal.
- Keep your dog hydrated. Never let your pooch get dehydrated. If possible, put water bowls in each room so it encourages him to drink more.
- Essential oils are very helpful in curing cough in dogs. Essential oils with antibacterial properties will not only soothe your furry pal, but it’ll also halt the growth of bacteria and viruses in your dog’s body.
It’s crucial to look after your beloved pet during such tough times. Canine influenza is not deadly but you shouldn’t take it for granted either. Hence, ensure that your furry pal isn’t affected by such flu outbreaks by maintaining his physical health and strong immune system.