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Dog flu

Related Terms

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Background

  • Dog flu, or canine influenza, is a highly contagious upper respiratory tract infection caused by the canine influenza virus. Dogs with canine influenza virus have symptoms that are similar to kennel cough; therefore, dog flu may be mistaken for kennel cough. Symptoms may include a cough that lasts several weeks, sneezing, a runny nose, and fever. Symptoms are mild in most dogs but may be severe for dogs that are young, old, or immunosuppressed. As with other viral infections, treatment involves supportive care.
  • The canine influenza virus is a type A influenza virus specific to dogs, known as influenza A H3N8 virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the H3N8 virus was known only to be carried by horses until its discovery in dogs in 2004. In January 2004, an outbreak occurred among greyhound dogs at a racing track in Florida. This racing track hosted both dog and horse races. As a result of this initial outbreak in greyhounds, dog flu is sometimes referred to as greyhound disease. The virus is now thought to have a dog-specific form. There are no reports of humans or other animals being infected with the canine influenza virus.
  • A vaccination for dog flu was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture in May 2009. Vaccination may prevent or lessen the severity of dog flu; however, dogs may still develop the flu even when vaccinated.
  • According to the American Veterinary Medical Association® (AVMA®), dog flu is highly contagious. Dogs with high exposure to other dogs are most at risk of developing dog flu. Dog shows, animal shelters, pet shops, and boarding kennels are generally high-risk environments.

Types of the Disease

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Risk Factors

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Causes

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Signs and Symptoms

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Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.