Cat Flu Symptoms in Dogs

Cat flu symptoms in dogs can be easy to identify and must be dealt with quickly to prevent more serious conditions and death. What's referred to as "cat flu" in dogs is usually Canine Parvovirus and doesn't resemble the flu, nor is it contracted from cats. There is no cure for canine parvovirus, but treatment will be aimed at replenishing bodily fluids, curbing other harmful bacteria and stopping underlying symptoms. Treatment can help restore the dog's functions that fight off disease and infection naturally.

Symptoms to Look For

Canine parvovirus spreads rapidly through feces and may not even require the presence of an infected dog for transmission. This virus can live in favorable conditions for up to a few years. It causes cat flu symptoms such as high fever, listlessness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting or foaming at the mouth, diarrhea with a very bad odor, discoloration of the gums and rapid dehydration. Any of these symptoms can appear very suddenly and dogs or puppies without the required natural immunities or antibodies can experience infection of heart muscles and sudden death.

Dogs Likely to Experience Cat Flu

Cat flu symptoms are most likely to occur in puppies. Due to the often weak immune system of a very young dog, this disease can be fatal. Most dogs have been exposed to this virus one or more times throughout their lives, thus naturally producing antibodies that can effectively fight it off. Puppies, or older dogs with very weak immune systems are most susceptible to contracting the virus. Widespread encouragement of vaccinations and immunizations against this disease have helped to control it, but if your dog is very young or is currently undergoing treatment for another serious condition, the likelihood of contracting cat flu is increased.

Treating Cat Flu Symptoms

Treatment of cat flu symptoms isn't designed to cure the disease, but rather to assist the dog's body at fighting the disease properly by replenishing fluid levels and diminishing other occurrences of bacteria. Fluid therapy will be one of the first treatments administered, as the dog will likely be severely dehydrated. Frequent vomiting and diarrhea lead to fluid loss and these fluids will be replenished via intravenous or subcutaneous treatment. Additionally, bacteria can enter the circulatory system, leading to sepsis. Antibiotics will be administered to assist with fighting this condition. Drugs and medications used to control nausea can also keep the dog a bit more comfortable during the ordeal.

What to Expect

If your dog is experiencing cat flu symptoms, you can expect intensive care hospitalization for several days. It is best to begin treatment of symptoms as soon as possible. If at-home care is necessary due to financial issues or other concerns, fluids and injectable medications must be administered. It will also be important to carefully monitor the dog for changes to behavior and symptoms. Put the dog in quarantine to limit the viral contamination in the home.