Canine influenza spreading during peak travel times

Posted at 11:02 PM, Aug 03, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Summertime travel could mean some sniffles for furry family members. Cases of canine influenza are popping up around the nation, leaving dog owners wondering what to do if their fur babies start showing symptoms.

Kristen Datte, a critical care veterinarian with BluePearl Vet, says they often see more cases of canine influenza in high travel seasons due to more dogs in daycare.

"Dog influenza tends to be transmitted or spread dog to dog by them sneezing or coughing. So, when you're in a situation where a lot of dogs are around each other — a boarding option or doggy daycare, dog parks even — they're going to be more at risk of getting it," Datte said.

There isn't much to be done to prevent dog influenza except for keeping pups away from other dogs if there's cause for concern.

If you start to notice a lack of energy or breathing problems in your pet — talk to your vet about treatment.

"A lot of the symptoms are going to be: signs of breathing problems, some nose discharge, and maybe some coughing would be seen," Datte said.

Despite the lack of canine influenza treatment options, it's important to keep an eye out for worsening symptoms in your pet.

"Just like any virus, it's going to be hard to specifically treat; you can't give it any medications, but watch them for difficulty breathing. And if they seem to not be eating, being more weak or not as energetic at home, they might be feeling really sick from it, and then they might need more aggressive treatment with their vets," said Datte.

Owners are warned not to panic. Plenty of rest, consistent food and water and a little extra snuggle time should have your pooch back on its paws in no time.