Dog Down: Canine Flu on the Rise in Some States

June 15, 2017 Updated: June 15, 2017

It’s flu season—for dogs.

Well, it goes year round, but it is on the rise in several states, including Arkansas, Florida, and the Carolinas. Just like the flu that people get, it’s an influenza virus that is highly contagious and easily spread from infected dogs to other dogs.

Dogs with the flu can get a cough, runny nose, and a fever. They may also lack energy, have eye discharge and not want to eat much.

And just like with people, it can range from mild to absolutely awful.

And while it can’t pass to people, it can pass to cats. So if your dog is showing symptoms, best to keep it isolated from other dogs and cats for at least three weeks.

Unfortunately, infected dogs are most contagious in the two-to-four-day period when they are incubating the flu but don’t yet show symptoms.

But since almost all dogs that come into contact with the flu (80 percent) catch it, if your dog was around another dog that showed symptoms, best to play it safe and put your pup in doggie quarantine.

Most disinfectants will kill off the virus, so good hygiene, including cleaning toys and kennels, will go far to prevent further spread of the flu if your dog does get sick.

And there is a vaccine, but it is mainly meant for dogs with lots of exposure to other dogs.

So if your pup is not its usual self, and feels extra warm, or extra whimpery, it could have the flu.

In rare cases, just like with people, the flu can be fatal and hospitalization is required.

But most of the time, water, rest, and a little TLC will do the trick. Most dogs recover in two to three weeks.