First Aid for Dogs: Responding to Canine Influenza


Canine influenza is a highly contagious disease that can affect dogs of all ages, but it's particularly dangerous for young puppies. There are some common signs of canine influenza to look out for, such as coughing and fever, so it's important to keep an eye on your pet if you think they might have the illness. If your dog has been diagnosed with canine influenza or is showing symptoms of the disease, there are treatments that can help manage its symptoms and prevent them from spreading further. However, in some cases where treatment isn't possible (or if treatment hasn't worked), euthanasia might be necessary

Signs of Canine Influenza

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Congestion, sneezing, and/or gagging noises when breathing in (barking cough)
  • Loss of appetite or decreased appetite
  • Painful abdomen (may be tender to the touch)
  • Yellow or green discharge from eyes
  • Difficult breathing, labored breathing, wheezing sounds when inhaling air through the nose and mouth (gasping for breath)

Anemia: Pale mucous membranes (the white part at the base of the tongue), weakness, and fatigue--these are all symptoms of anemia. In some cases, this can be fatal if left untreated!

How to Know if Your Dog Has Canine Influenza

Canine influenza is a disease that can be passed from dog to dog. It is a respiratory infection, and it is highly contagious. Canine influenza can be fatal if not treated early on, so it's important to know how to recognize the signs of canine influenza in your dog and what steps you should take when they appear.

The first symptom of canine influenza is usually a high fever; however, other symptoms may include rapid breathing, lethargy (inability to move around), loss of appetite (no interest in food), and/or nasal discharge (a wet nose). These symptoms tend to last anywhere from two days up until two weeks before going away completely again once the virus has run its course through the body systemically throughout all organs including lungs etcetera."

Vaccinating Your Dog

If your dog is at risk for exposure to the virus, vaccination is an important step in protecting them. Vaccination against canine influenza isn't 100% effective, but it can reduce the severity of symptoms and prevent complications such as pneumonia.

Vaccinate your dogs if they go to dog parks or boarding facilities, travel frequently (for example, if you're going on vacation), or have other pets in the household that could transmit the virus from one animal to another (such as cats). If a dog has been vaccinated within the past year with a vaccine containing a strain that matches what's currently circulating in their area--and they haven't been exposed since then--they may not need another vaccination yet; talk with your veterinarian about whether this applies in your case before deciding whether or not another round of shots is necessary now that winter has arrived!

Symptoms of Canine Influenza

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite (or eating excessively)
  • Diarrhea or constipation, or both (can be bloody stools)
  • Fever (can range from 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit)

Symptoms vary in severity depending on the dog's age, overall health, and other factors. Some dogs will only show mild signs while others may experience more severe symptoms such as trouble breathing or loss of consciousness. If you see any of these signs in your pet, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately!

If your pet is showing these signs, call your veterinarian immediately. If it is after hours or on the weekend and you cannot get in touch with a vet, take your dog to an emergency animal hospital.


  • How to respond if your dog has Canine Influenza:
  • Preventing Canine Influenza in the first place is the best way to avoid it. If you have an unvaccinated dog, talk with your veterinarian about getting them vaccinated against this disease. The vaccine isn't 100% effective, but it does reduce the risk of infection by 50%. If you have any questions about whether or not your pet should be vaccinated against Canine Influenza, please contact their doctor for advice on what's best for them.
  • What do I do if my dog starts showing symptoms? In most cases (about 80%), dogs will recover from this illness within 10 days without any treatment needed at all--but there are some things that can help speed up recovery time and make sure your pet feels better sooner rather than later: Give him plenty of rest; keep him away from other animals until he's fully recovered; keep open spaces around his bed so he doesn't get too hot when sleeping at night; provide lots of water throughout each day so dehydration doesn't set in during feverish periods when appetite may decrease significantly due to nausea caused by high temperatures reaching dangerous levels over 100 degrees Fahrenheit."


The first step is to get your dog checked out by a vet. If you suspect that your dog might have Canine Influenza, take him or her to the veterinarian immediately so that they can determine whether or not this is the case. The sooner you can get treatment started, the better chance your pet has at recovering quickly and fully from this illness.


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