Fatigue, runny nose and eye discharge… all symptoms of the Winter flu. Something most humans are all to familiar with! But, these symptoms can also be seen in dogs suffering from the Dog Flu. The form of flu found in dogs comes from horses and is passed along from one infected dog to another. Fortunately a dogs immune system automatically builds antibodies which can fight against the flu. The one big problem with the dog flu is that in some cases, the dogs develop pneumonia, which is considerably more dangerous.
Kennel cough is another symptom of the dog flu, and visa versa, if a dog catches kennel cough from a boarding situation, they will have flu-like symptons. Kennel cough will cause your dog to have stuffed up nose, runny eyes etc. In this case a trip to the vet is in order, and antibiotics will help to clear it up.
No humans have been found to get that strain of the flu virus, and similarly, dogs do not get the strains of flu that humans are susceptible to. Therefore, no need to worry about having your loyal companion hang out with you on your next sick day.
Like humans, dogs can also catch a flu when constantly changing from a comfortable indoor temperature, to the cold Winter chill of the great outdoors, and back into the warmth again. Humans & dogs have the ability to adapt to extreme environments, but only with consistent exposure as a means to survive. One way to ease the shock of extreme tempurature change, and prevent your dog from experiencing flu-like symptoms is with protection . A dog’s natural coat doesn’t always suffice when it comes to sudden and significant changes in temperature and bone chilling winds. As much as I hate to admit it – considered dog clothing a silly trend & fashion statement – canine coats, vest and sweaters are the perfect solution for protection from the elements. As a big dog owner, I never realized the importance of protecting your dog in the elements. But, both small and large dog breeds will benefit from dog clothing.
Tatum got her first piece of canine clothing in 2011, for her 9th birthday. A waterproof, reflective fleece vest. We found that it comes in handy for all of our Winter activites, including evening runs through the city, snow shoeing in the back country, and hiking the foothills in chilly seasonal temps.
All in all, the Dog Flu does exsist, and as responsible dog owners we should all be aware of the symptoms, and know how to prevent cold-like symptons before they start.