Health Alert – Canine Influenza

Canine influenza (also known as dog flu) is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs. The signs of this illness in dogs are cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite, but not all dogs will show signs of illness.
Golden retriever puppy with an ice bag on his head
The severity of illness associated with canine flu in dogs can range from no signs to severe illness. Most dogs recover within 2 to 3 weeks. However, some dogs may develop secondary bacterial infections which may lead to more severe illness and pneumonia.

Almost all dogs are susceptible to canine flu infection, and virus infection tends to spread among dogs that frequent places where other dogs are present. Canine flu is thought to spread mainly among dogs through respiratory droplets produced during coughing and sneezing from infected dogs, or through contact with contaminated surfaces.

If this these guidelines remind you of another human spread respiratory illness we have seen recently, you are not wrong. Canine influenza can spread from dog to dog in a very similar manner that Covid spreads amongst us humans. Therefore, dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not expose their dog to other dogs or to cats. Clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease.

As you all know, Scampers requires all dogs in our play zones to be updated on vaccines. While we do not require the Canine Influenza vaccine, we do recommend it now, especially with the uptick in cases elsewhere in the country. Ask your veterinarian if it’s time to start your pooch on Canine Flu vaccinations, and be ready to see that one among the required vaccinations as the pet care community responds to changing events.