Dog Flu

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Dog Flu

by Eric Hartwell

Dog flu can be a killer. Dogs are not exempt from sickness and viruses. Their lives may also be threatened by contagious sicknesses frequent to their kind. One the most alarming is commonly known to us as dog flu, canine influenza or in medical terms H3N8 influenza virus.

This infectious disease is said to have originated from horses and was passed down recently to dogs. Although transmittable, dog?s that have the flu cannot be of harm to their owners or other inhabitants where they live in. This sickness should not be treated lightly though, and the first signs of the said illness are easily detected.

Detecting dog flu

Canine influenza or dog flu is an illness associated with the respiratory system and is caused by a virus. There are two types of the said infection, the first being a mild version and the second considered severe and is made worse by pneumonia. Dogs infected with the first type are troubled with soft and moist cough that usually lasts for a period of 10 to 30 days. This type of cough is often mistaken as a kennel cough, and so a minor cough in your dog is best assessed by an animal doctor.

On the other hand, dogs who suffer from the severe type of dog flu have increased difficulty breathing. Moreover, they also have high temperatures usually ranging from 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dog flu is a fairly new disease and is said to affect almost all dogs when they come in contact with the said virus. Despite this, it is fortunate that the mild form is more commonly seen to have affected dogs rather than the more severe case of influenza.

Dog flu: Protecting and treating your dogs

The best way to prevent dog flu from harming your dog is to ensure that it does not come in contact with other dogs that have been infected with this disease. Moreover, once you see symptoms similar to this virus bring your dog immediately to your vet.

Like any virus which attacks the immune system, dog flu is treated by boosting the immune system of your dog. In addition, the vet will most probably give your dog an anti viral medication to treat the disease. This medication, however, is said to take effect only in early stages of the viral infection. Thus, it is most important that you bring your dog for treatment during the first sign of infection. Dogs experiencing the severe form of the disease have lesser chances for survival, although they are still treated with water baths to bring down the fever.

Meanwhile, scientists and animal doctors are still in the process of studying this new strain of dog flu virus that has infected dogs. Dog flu has been initially spotted during the years 1999 and 2003. The first outbreak allegedly happened in the greyhound racetracks in Florida, United States. This remains to be a growing concern for a good number of dog owners, and there is said to be a growing fear of it spreading. To date, a vaccine is still under the works.

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Eric Hartwell - EzineArticles Expert Author

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