What is the Canine Flu?
Canine influenza, or dog flu, is a highly contagious illness caused by the canine influenza virus (CIV).
Dogs of any age, breed, or health statues are at risk of infection when exposed to CIV, and the infection can occur year round. Almost all dogs who are exposed to the virus will become infected and of those 80% will develop flu-like symptoms. It is NOT contagious to people.
How do dogs get CIV?
CIV is spread easily from infected dogs through direct contact, coughing and sneezing, and contact with contaminated surfaces (including water bowls and leashes).
What are the symptoms?
The illness can range from mild to severe. Symptoms include:
● Persistent cough
● Nasal and/or eye discharge
● Reduced appetite
Secondary bacterial infections can also develop, which can cause more serious illness and pneumonia.
What do I do if my dog gets the flu?
Don’t worry! Most dogs recover with rest after 2-3 weeks. If you suspect your dog is sick, let your SCRUF mate know. Keep your dog isolated from other dogs and wash your hands after you touch your dog.
For more serious infections, or if your dog develops a secondary infection,
medication may be required.
Is there anything I can do to prevent the flu?
● Talk to your vet about the CIV vaccine. The vaccine is very safe and will help protect your dog and others from CIV.
● If your dog shows signs of illness, isolate from others and alert your SCRUF mate.
● Wash your hands after handling any dog.
● Avoid areas where many dogs gather.
How does SCRUF help to prevent CIV exposure?
● We avoid other dogs on the trail to limit any contact with dogs of unknown
● We use our own water bowls and equipment, and clean these tools between
● We vaccinate our personal dogs annually.
● We wash our hands as much as possible.