Canine Influenza or Dog Flu
It is an infectious respiratory disease caused by Type A influenza virus known to affect the canines occasionally. These viruses are also eminent by the name of Canine Influenza Virus or CIV. Fortunately, humans are not known to suffer from this condition. There are two types of Type A viruses, which are H3N8 and H3N2.
Can these viruses affect the humans?
Till date, there have been no cases of CIV infections in humans. But the viruses are constantly changing and evolving. The virus can change its form and become more powerful and can affect the humans. This is bothering the scientists as well as the canine specialists. Such viruses can one day create an epidemic kind of a situation among the human population. Thats way CDC organisation is constantly monitoring and keeping an eye on the H3N8 and H3N2 viruses.
The Origin of this Virus
H3N8 originated in horses, and then slowly spread among the canines. The H3N8 equine virus is known to exist among horses for more than forty years. In the year 2004, sudden cases of respiratory illness started among the dogs. Further investigation revealed that this condition was caused by the H3N8 viruses. Now, scientists call this is as a canine-specific virus.
H3N2 is an avian virus which later shaped into a canine-specific virus. These viruses also affects the cats. This virus is different from t human H3N2 virus. Initial detection of H3N2 was in South Korea in the year 2007, and since occassional reports are there from countries like Thailand and China. First noted case of this virus in the USA was in the year 2015.
Signs and Symptoms
1.A frequent cough and running nose
- Recurring high fever
4.Occasional eye discharge
5.Loss of appetite
Not all the dogs will dispose these signs mentioned above and symptoms. The severity or seriousness of this condition will depend on few factors and can range from no signs to extreme consequences such as Pneumonia to even death. Some dogs may suffer from asymptomatic infections, while the rest will show all the signs and symptoms.
So how do these infections spread?
All types of dogs can suffer from this condition, and this infection spreads from dogs to dogs very quickly. Places such as clubs, dog parks where there are as many as dogs at a time, there is a huge possibility that a dog can get this infection from its canine friend. Infection spreads in the form of aerosolized respiratory infections. Cleaning the clothes, equipment, etc. of the affected dog will reduce the chances of the infection spreading to other animals.
The owner will have to consult a vet before the vet zeroes on the tests required to diagnose the condition.
Treating this condition will mostly mount on various factors. Firstly, the owner will have to make sure that the dog is getting proper nourishment and exercise. These things will build up the immune system to fight this condition. Keep the dog well hydrated and continue with the antibiotics. Vaccines are available in the USA for both the variants of this infection- H3N8 and H3N2.