Just like people, dogs can get canine influenza (CIV) and colds—and also just like people, there are social individuals who are at greater risk of contracting the virus: dogs that interact with other dogs at daycare, grooming, dog parks, or who are regularly groomed. These risks can also be increased during the winter months when there may be less outside time available.
When infected, dogs experience fever, coughing, sneezing and a general unwell feeling. In elderly dogs and those with compromised immune systems or pre-existing respiratory conditions, CIV can lead to secondary infections and even death.
Here are some tips for making the season easier for all pet owners:
- Vaccinate! If you are taking your dogs to play areas, pet stores or other doggy gathering places, make sure your pups are vaccinated, including against respiratory viruses like CIV and bordetella. If you notice dogs coughing in these spaces, consider leaving and coming back another time. The organisms causing diseases like Bordetella and canine flu are airborne, so it’s easy for dogs to pass them on. Even the cleanest kennels can’t always prevent an outbreak.
- Keep coughing dogs home. If your dog is coughing or showing other signs, please don’t bring him or her to play or boarding. We are happy to see your pet and prescribe medicine when necessary! But, since no vaccine is 100% effective, we ask you to keep coughing pets away from group situations until they have not been coughing for about three days.
No one can prevent all respiratory infections, but by being careful and considerate, we can reduce exposure. If you’d like to update your pet’s vaccines or have questions about canine respiratory infections, get in touch with us at Roseway Veterinary Hospital by calling 971-252-3154.