The 2017-2018 flu season is in full gear and so far, it’s been more than a difficult one for the U.S. human population. Fear not, however, the Human Influenza Virus is not transferable to your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, nor is Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) transferable to you, thankfully! Here is some information about the CIV that we believe you’ll find helpful:
Canine influenza virus is an extremely contagious respiratory disease that affects thousands of dogs in the US and because it is a fairly new virus, most dogs have not been previously exposed to it. Dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to CIV and it can be easily transmitted when they come into close proximity to an infectious dog. This, of course, is why CIV is one of the viral causes of “kennel cough”.
Symptoms of Canine Influenza Virus are coughing (that is typically moist) and sneezing, followed by a nasal discharge that begins clear in color and progresses to a thick yellow/green mucus. A fever, difficult breathing, loss of appetite and lethargy are also symptomatic of CIV. In most cases, CIV symptoms will run from 10-30 days and usually will go away on their own.
Most treatments for canine flu involves supportive treatments that are given while your Cavalier’s body fights off the virus. Specific anti-viral medications are available, but they aren’t always used because they are most effective at very early stages of CIV, often before you even realize that your Cavalier is sick. However, supportive nursing care and appropriate treatment of secondary infections are extremely important, so you will definitely want to visit your veterinarian at the first signs of CIV.