Client checklist: Controlling canine influenza virus

Tips on educating dog owners on the signs, treatment, and prevention of CIV

With summer underway, plenty of dogs are enjoying fun in the sun with their canine companions, play-fighting and sharing water bowls.

Of course, accompanying summer vacation is the increased risk of infectious diseases and other illness. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is at an all-time high this year, with reported cases in at least 46 states. As such, it is more important than ever for veterinarians to warn their clients of some of the tell-tale signs of the illness.

Here are some suggestions for helping clients protect their pets from illness year-round, courtesy of Zoetis.

Identifying clinical signs

Symptoms of CIV are similar to those of other bacterial and viral causes associated with Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD). Much like humans, signs of the virus often vary from dog to dog and can last for several weeks.

Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • Reduced appetite
  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Lethargy

Additionally, CIV has no seasonality, so owners should keep an eye out for these symptoms throughout the year; however, it is especially important to keep watch during the summer when dogs tend to spend more time outdoors, socializing with other dogs.

Considering treatment options

If an owner suspects their dog is unwell, the pet should be examined by its veterinarian as soon as possible in order to establish a suitable treatment plan. Though CIV cannot be cured with medication, antibiotics can be prescribed to ease the signs of infection or guard against secondary infections.

Introducing preventative care

There are several vaccines available to help protect dogs from both H3N2 and H3N8 CIV strains. As the virus is very contagious and nearly every dog is susceptible to infection, vaccination is considered by many veterinarians to be the most effective way to prevent CIV.

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  1. Put your dog on a course of BioEqualizer Canine formula at first sign of sickness to help combat virus and lessen course of disease. Also use prophylactic to help immune system operate at optimum level.