Dogs with the flu do not always show symptoms. The only way to get the flu is if your dog has come in contact with other dogs in the past 7 days. Since it is thought to be an airborne infection, a dog can get the disease just by being near other dogs such as in a kennel (similar to the way kennel cough is contracted). It takes up to 7 days for symptoms to appear. Symptoms are similar to kennel cough.
Infected dogs can spread the virus for seven to ten days after symptoms occur. There is no vaccine available for this disease.
Flu symptom in dog are either mild or severe. No dog is immune and most will only get the mild form.
- Soft, moist cough lasting about 10-30 days
- Nasal discharge (sign of secondary bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics)
- Low grade fever
High-grade fever (104-106°F)
Increased respiratory rate and effort
Treatment of Dog Flu Symptoms
Since there is to cure for dog flu, it is best to treat the symptoms which largely involves keeping your dog comfortable while possibly boosting the immune system with natural supplements.
Most dogs will not need antibiotics. If prescribed, your veterinarian recommend antibiotics for treatment of secondary bacterial infections of the sinuses or lungs. This works 95 percent of the cases. Like in humans , antibiotics do not destroy viruses.
Keep your dog warm and comfortable. Like humans, many dogs like warm chicken broth as a rare treat. If congested, try a vaporizer or turn your bathroom into a steam room by running the shower hot, and then allowing your dog to enter the bathroom and breath the steam for 5 to 10 minutes.
Natural Treatment of Flu Symptom in Dog
If your dog is susceptible to flu or similar illnesses such as Kennel Cough ask your veterinarian about dietary supplements such as those offered by PetAlive. They are formulated to boost the immune system and support the respiratory system of your dog. They are well researched with a good track record of success.
Washington State University
College of Veterinary Medicine
Canine Influenza Q & A Fact Sheet
April 27, 2006