Canine influenza (CI, or dog flu) is caused by the canine influenza virus (CIV), an influenza A virus.
It is highly contagious and easily spread from infected dogs to other dogs by direct contact, nasal secretions (through barking, coughing or sneezing), contaminated objects (food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.
Symptoms of a CIV infection resemble those of canine infectious tracheobronchitis (“canine cough”). Dogs infected with CIV develop a persistent cough and may develop a thick nasal discharge and fever (often 104- 105˚F). Other signs can include lethargy, eye discharge and reduced appetite. Canine
influenza infections can cause mild to severe illness in dogs. Some infected dogs may not show any signs of illness, but can still be contagious and able to infect other dogs.
Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks. However, some dogs may develop secondary bacterial infections which may lead to more severe illness and pneumonia. Canine influenza can occur year round. There is no evidence that canine influenza infects people.
Here From an Expert:
To learn more, watch this video from Dr. Michael Blackwell, DVM, MPH
Dr. Blackwell has received numerous awards and recognitions, most notably, the Distinguished Service Medal, which is the highest personal honor award of the U.S. Public Health Service. He was twice awarded the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal. He currently serves as a member of the HSVMA Board of Directors.