Posted July 8, 2015
You may not know this, but dogs can get the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s called canine influenza and described as a contagious respiratory disease. Some people are concerned about catching the canine flu, but medical professionals say not to worry. Here are nine important facts:
- Canine flu is spread nose to nose between dogs. This usually occurs when an infected dog coughs or sneezes on a healthy dog, or on toys that other dogs play with.
- If an infected dog sneezes on a human, the virus can live on human skin for 2 minutes or on clothing for 24 hours or longer. Researchers say it’s possible for healthy dogs to pick up the virus from humans.
- Common symptoms include a cough, runny nose and fever, but not all dogs will have these signs. If an infected dog goes untreated, it can develop pneumonia and become very ill.
- Puppies, older dogs and several dog types with flat noses, such as French Bulldogs, Pekinese and Pugs, are more severely impacted by the virus.
- Twelve states have reported cases of the canine flu.
- Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received no reports of humans catching the flu from dogs.
- Infected dogs should be kept on a leash and away from other dogs.
- A vaccine for canine influenza is available, but isn’t necessary in non-infected areas.
- Dogs with a cough or other flu-type symptoms should see the veterinarian for an evaluation and possible testing.
Dog Flu: Keep Your Pet Safe