Canine Influenza Symptoms

Even though canine influenza is rarely fatal, identifying the symptoms and reporting them to your veterinarian may lead to a shorter period of suffering for your dog. The symptoms will not only help you notice that your dog might be sick, but they will also help your veterinarian distinguish between various health conditions and make a diagnosis for your dog. More than that, the treatment depends very much on the number and the severity of these clinical signs.

Overview of Canine Influenza Symptoms

Most of the dogs suffering from canine influenza do not have any clinical signs specific only to this medical condition. Because of this, canine influenza can be easily confused with kennel cough. However, the duration and the severity of canine influenza symptoms are greater than in dogs that have kennel cough.

Mild symptoms include:

•    Cough
•    Runny nose
•    Thick nasal discharge

The cough will last for a period of 10 and 21 days. The more severe form of canine influenza, on the other hand, has the following symptoms:

•    High fever
•    Symptoms typical to early stages of pneumonia

The fatality rate is low, ranging between 5 and 8 percent, but this does not mean that you do not have to report the symptoms to a veterinarian as soon as you notice them.

Description of Dog Flu Symptoms

A cough is usually the first symptom to be observed. This, in itself, is not a very serious problem. Feed your dog properly and to make sure that he is kept warm and cozy. If a thick nasal discharge is noticed, then you have to call your veterinarian. At this point, your dog should start taking broad spectrum antibiotics. To prevent a secondary infection, such as pneumonia, from developing, make sure your dog has access to plenty water at all times and administer his antibiotics regularly.

Diagnosis of Canine Influenza

The most effective diagnosis tool for dog flu is through a blood test. This checks to see if there are enough antibodies to fight the canine influenza virus. Other tests include analysis of throat cultures and virus isolation from lung tissue.

Natural Treatment Options for Dog Flu

At the moment, there are no cures for canine influenza or any type of vaccine for preventing this medical condition. However, there are several natural treatments that can be taken for alleviating the symptoms. Among the ones that showed promising results, grapefruit seed extract seems to be the most effective with no side effects. The extract can be administered very easily by adding it to the food your dog usually consumes. Other natural remedies for canine influenza include extracts of:

•    Coltsfoot
•    Elecampane
•    Fenugreek
•    Kelp
•    Maritime pine
•    Mullein
•    Rosehips

These extracts will fight the respiratory infection, while also improving the immune system of your dog. However, if you choose to rely on natural remedies for treating canine influenza, this does not mean that you do not have to take the dog to the veterinarian.