One of the most annoying diseases in human beings is the flu. This is because the disease comes with some of the most irritating symptoms including a running nose, itchy nose, watery eyes, sneezing uncontrollably, a fever, general discomfort and feeling generally low. The only cure for the flu is to let it take full effect and blow away. Flu vaccines have helped a great deal, especially in children.


Imagine the same feeling on your beloved dog. Canine influenza is a reality sweeping across the US. Most pet owners may not even know that their pets are on the down low due to the flu. The reason for this is because the symptoms can easily pass away in the mildest of cases. Severe canine flu can also cause death. Animals in distress are easy to note thanks to symptoms such as coughing and watery eyes and noses. Canine flu is caused by a type A virus known as H3N8.

The virus is commonly found is households and dog houses. The strain began to spread far and wide in the U.S but soon found a vaccine. One can now vaccinate dogs annually to keep them away from the disease. It is also advised that you keep dogs in isolation when the flu seems to run about. The vaccine is not only cheap but readily available in local vet offices.

One of the biggest setbacks of the canine flu was the development of a newer more resistant strain. It is not yet known how this came about, though. The H3N2 is believed to have begun in Asia and spread through the oriental nations to the U.S. It is not clear how the strain got to the U.S. The most unfortunate thing about the strain is that it has no cure or vaccine. Some animals will have resistance to the strain while others will succumb. The best one can do is keep the dog comfortable and wait to see the results of the infection.

There is no known connection between canine flu and humans. Canine flu cannot be transmitted to humans. This makes it safe for you to be around the pet during the period of infection. Serving the pet fluids and keeping him or her comfortable is the best bet against the flu. One of the best ways to deal with canine flu is by keeping the surroundings clean. We will easily wash their hands and use towels when it comes to cleaning their noses. We will also wear warm clothing at the slightest hint of cold weather keeping flu away. Dogs will, however, endure all weather, not able to wash hands and clean their houses.

Keeping their environment clean will help with keeping the virus away. Keeping your dog on lock down during this season will also control the virus. The annual shots are a perfect solution for the normal strain.


Maggie Martin is completing her PhD in Cell Biology, works as a lab tech for and contributes content on Biotech, Life Sciences, and Viral Outbreaks. Follow on Twitter @MaggieBiosource