Canine influenza
Canine Influenza

Canine Influenza: Definition, Causes, and Prevention

What is Canine Influenza?

Flu in dogs is known as Canine Influenza, a disease of the respiratory tract in dogs. Flu in dogs has the same symptoms as the flu in humans. The disease is caused by the Canine Influenza Virus known as H3N8. Influenza viruses will cause flu in dogs but not in humans. So this virus will not be transmitted to humans. H3N8 virus is a virus that originated from influenza virus in horses.

The virus spreads in dogs and adapts so that it can be easily transmitted in dogs. Then the virus is known as H3N8 virus that is specific to dogs. The H3N8 Influenza virus was first identified in horses 50 years ago. It was first reported to have occurred in Greyhounds and eventually spread to other dogs.

Dogs affected by influenza viruses, can develop two different syndromes:

  • Mild Type This type of dog has a cough that is usually wet cough and snot. Sometimes, it can also be a dry cough. In most cases, these symptoms will last 10-30 days and will usually disappear on their own.
  • Severe Type: Generally, this type of dogs will have a high fever (above 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius) and the symptoms develop rapidly. Pneumonia, especially hemorrhagic pneumonia can develop of this type. Influenza viruses affect the capillaries in the lungs so dogs can cough up blood and have difficulty breathing if there is bleeding in the alveoli (air sac). The sufferer will also be infected with pneumonia bacteria, which can further complicate its condition.

Canine Influenza Symptoms

Symptoms of dog flu experienced by pet dogs include: cough, lethargy, fever, and the presence of fluid coming out of the nose. Not only that, dog flu can also cause acute respiratory infections in dogs.

Dog flu is thought to increase the risk of death by about 10 percent in dogs. However, not a few can also recover by taking medication, or even not done treatment at all.

Most dogs can recover and be fine when undergoing the right treatment patterns. Examples of treatments currently being treated are the administration of the H3N8 vaccine (a virus derived from horses) and H3N2 (avian influenza adaptation virus).

Read also:
Dog Vaccinations: Types, Age, and How To Give It

Dog flu is also said to be susceptible to attacking puppies. As a precaution, some experts advise you to keep the surrounding environment clean and objects such as dog collars, toys, water bowls, other items that come into contact with other dogs, as well as diligently wash your hands with running water and soap after you come into contact with the dog, let alone the infected one.

The above precautions are important because the dog flu virus is believed to be able to spread through the touch of a human hand from an infected dog to another uninfected dog.

While from dog to dog, the virus can spread through barking, coughing, and sneezing when the dog comes into contact with another infected dog.

Areas prone to the spread of dog flu are kennels, shelters, including day care centers.

Causes of Canine Influenza

The cause of dog flu symptoms is infection by CIV H3N8 or H3N2 virus. CIV is spread through direct dog-to-dog contact and through airborne particles released when an infected dog coughs or sneezes. It can also spread on items in the dog environment, such as food bowls or beds. The virus can remain active for up to 12 hours on hand and up to 24 hours on clothing.

Because CIV spreads easily, dogs are at higher risk of catching it if they are often places like:

  • Dormitory facilities
  • Doggie daycares
  • Groomers
  • Dog parks
  • Group training

Because flu outbreaks can occur anywhere dogs gather, pet care facilities increasingly need flu vaccinations for dogs before receiving them. In fact, according to a survey, about 25% of pet care facilities report that they have implemented the requirement.

Dog risk factors for CIV infection are the same as for Bordetella (also known as kennel cough or dog cough). As a result, more facilities are seeing discretion in requiring flu vaccination and Bordetella.

Preventing of the spread of dog flu

If the pet has been exposed to the flu, the dog owner should keep the dog rested and well nourished. In addition, it must also be kept from other pets so that H3N2 does not spread among animals.

Sick humans should also stay away from dogs. Because they can be exposed from humans. As much as possible, avoid getting close to sick animals. In addition, keeping the room clean to ensure recovery and provide prevention of disease should also be done.


Last Updated on June 25, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team


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