Canine Influenza (CIV)

Canine Influenza viruses H3N8 and H3N2, also known as dog flu or canine flu, is an infectious respiratory disease in dogs that is caused by a particular Type A influenza virus commonly known to infect dogs.

This virus is often known as Canine Influenza and Canine Flu and is a highly transmittable respiratory infection.

In the U.S., two influenza strains cause this disease in dogs, H3N8 and H3N2 virus strains.

Fatal cases of pneumonia following an infection of canine influenza virus have been reported in dogs, but the fatality rate is low (less than 10%).

Microscopic view of Canine Influenza (CIV) courtesy of Wikipedia

What are the symptoms of Canine Influenza?

The symptoms of this disease in dogs are a canine cough (usually related to Kennel Cough), fever, and runny nose; however, not all dogs are prone to showing these symptoms when infected. Other symptoms can consist of eye discharge, lethargy, and a depleted appetite. Some dogs may not show any symptoms of the illness, but can be transmitters of the virus and infect other dogs. The severity of illness linked to canine flu in dogs can vary from having no symptoms to a serious illness that can lead to pneumonia and sometimes death.

The majority of dogs will recover within 2-3 weeks. But, other bacterial infections can develop, and may cause more severe illness and pneumonia. If you are concerned about their pet’s health, or if your pet is displaying any symptoms of canine influenza, you should contact your veterinarian.

Cats can also be affected by H3N2 canine influenza and show signs of upper respiratory illness, including congestion, a runny nose, lip smacking, malaise, and excessive salivation.

Unlike seasonal influenza in people, the canine flu can take place year round. CIV infection is similar to a canine cough and may be severe or mild, and infected dogs can also develop a tenacious cough with a thick nasal discharge as well as a fever. Other symptoms can include eye discharge, lethargy, and reduced appetite.

PetAirapy systems have been designed and tested to quickly deliver high disinfection rates
of Canine Influenza and other microorganisms that spread infection throughout animal care facilities.
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How is Canine Flu diagnosed?

You may be able to identify canine flu symptoms and diagnose your pet with Canine Influenza. However, it is strongly recommended that you seek the opinion from your veterinarian. Having your pet examined by a qualified veterinarian is the only way to actually and positively diagnose Canine influenza.

CIV can be diagnosed early (in some cases it can be less than three days) by carrying out a throat or nasal swab. The most efficient test for CIV infection is a blood test that entails a blood sample drawn within the first week of the illness and followed by a second test 10-14 days later

The vet will need to do a complete blood count and clinical chemistry on the heel. Usually, increases are discovered in the blood cells, particularly the neutrophils; a white blood cell that is damaging to other micro-organisms. X-rays (radiographs) will usually be carried out to characterize the type of pneumonia.

Some other diagnostic equipment known as a bronchoscope can also be used to examine the larger bronchi and trachea. Samples are collected by carrying out a bronchial wash or a bronchoalveolar lavage.

How can I prevent the spread of Canine Influenza?

PetAirapy systems are designed, tested and proven to destroy the harmful microbes that endanger the health of the pets in your care. For several years, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation has been used in hospitals, government buildings, and laboratories to sanitize instruments, the air, water, operating rooms and work surfaces that are exposed to dangerous biological materials.

If you want to make sure your boarding facility or pet clinic is suitably protected against the canine flu, installing a PetAirapy air purification system is a great way to mitigate infection. Preventing canine influenza and canine cough is the most practical way to protect your pets, livelihood, and reputation.

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