Much like the human form, dog flu is a highly infectious virus induced disease with the propensity to cause great harm to your dog. It is an emerging disease that shares a variety of similarities with the equine flu, so there is a possibility that it actually developed first in horses.
Dog Flu Symptoms:
The canine flu symptoms in your pet will consist mainly of respiratory problems and, if left untreated, could progress into other severe illnesses, including pneumonia.
There are two general forms of the dog flu, each with different, varying degrees of symptoms. Mild form canine flu symptoms include a cough, much like that of ‘kennel cough’, and a runny nose with thick nasal discharge, usually green in colour. The severe form contains canine flu symptoms that include a high fever and symptoms of the early stages of pneumonia.
While the fatality rate of dogs with dog flu is relatively low at five to eight percent, it should be noted that the canine flu is highly contagious, and if a dog comes into contact with the virus, there is over eighty percent or greater chance that it will be affected by the virus. There is currently no vaccine or natural immunity to the dog flu, so every dog is at equal risk of infection. With its high rate of infectivity, the dog flu virus can be spread either through direct contact with infected dogs, or with your dog’s contact with infected chew toys, food, etc.
A cough is generally the first sign of a dog flu outbreak in your dog or puppy. At this point, the best remedy is to simply take care of your dog, making sure it gets a healthy amount of healthy food, and generally keeping it warm and cosy. If and when your pet progresses to a phase where it is seeping green snot from the nose, then you will want to consult your veterinarian to obtain some broad spectrum antibiotics to help combat the bacterial that has taken hold of your pet’s weakened immune system after the dog flu virus was cleared. With the severe form of dog flu symptoms, make sure your animal stays well hydrated, as liquid is the key to preventing a major pneumonia infection in the time after the dog flu was cleared. In order to prevent the spread of the dog flu, be sure to keep your infected animal away from kennels, dog grooming facilities or any area where your dog may be at risk of spreading the dog flu to other dogs. Anything which comes in contact with a dog flu infected animal should be immediately washed to prevent a dog flu outbreak from spreading.
How do you treat a dog cold:
Since the flu is caused by a virus, there is no real cure, naturally or via prescription medication, to eradicate it in your animal. A popular natural treatment for flu among other bacterial and viral illnesses in your dog is grapefruit seed extract (GSE), which, as the name implies, is made from the mashed up seeds of grapefruit. Tests in laboratories world over have come up with positive results from a GSE treatment. As an added benefit, there are no known side effects to the dosage. If you choose to treat the flu symptoms with grapefruit seed extract, simply mix some in with your dog’s regular meals. Other natural means of fighting the flu in your pet include the use of: elecampane, fenugreek, mullein, maritime pine, rosehips, kelp, and coltsfoot. Each of these natural ingredients helps fight respiratory infection and boost the immune system to help control the dog flu virus.