Subject: Canine Cough vs. Canine Influenza - What you need to know

Happy Spring!
The weather is starting to warm up, which means that its the season for fleas, ticks, and airborne respiratory diseases.  Even though the Canine Flu is not currently in our area, we wanted to send out an email to educate about Canine Influenza and Canine Cough.  
We do recommend following up with your veterinarian about any questions or concerns that you may have for your pet.
  Canine Cough     vs.   Canine Influenza
What is Canine Cough?
Canine Cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease spread by 3 main infectious pathogens (parainfluenza, adenovirus, & bordetella).
What is Canine Influenza?
Canine Influenza, or the Canine Flu, is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease spread by 2 infectious pathogens (H3N8 & H3N2).

How is Canine Cough transmitted?
Canine Cough is an airborne pathogen but can also be transmitted by hands or clothing.

How is Canine Influenza transmitted?
Canine Influenza can be spread by direct contact, airborne from sneezing and coughing, and/or by contact with contaminated objects.
What are the Symptoms?
The main symptom is a hacking cough, which can also be accompanied by sneezing and nasal discharge. The incubation period (time it takes for a pet to show symptoms) is roughly 7-10 days. A pet can be contagious for up to 3 weeks after showing symptoms. Also, pets do not have to show symptoms to shed the disease to other pets.  

What are the Symptoms?
Mild cases (the majority) symptoms include lethargy, anorexia, nasal discharge, low-grade fever, persistent cough and some fluid in the lungs.
Severe cases (10-20%) symptoms include high-grade fever, pneumonia, lung lesions and fluid in the lungs.
The incubation period for Canine Influenza is about 2-5 days, which is shorter than Canine Cough. The pet is contagious before showing symptoms and does not have to show any symptoms to be contagious and infect other pets. Symptoms last about 2-3 weeks and pets are still contagious 7 days past infection.
What is the Treatment?
Most often Canine Cough is treated like the common cold and need to run its course. However, veterinarians will choose to put dogs on antibiotics to prevent against secondary infections since their immune system is compromised. Cough suppressants may also be prescribed for severe coughing.
What is the Treatment?
Treatments are based on the diagnostic results, clinical signs and vaccination history of each pet. In most cases, treatment mainly involves supportive care and is limited by the health of the dog. Antibiotics, steroids, cough suppressants, nebulizers and hospitalization may be necessary.
I thought my dog was Vaccinated?
Your pet is vaccinated for these pathogens, however, there are over 100 strains of the virus and the vaccine is only effective on some of them. Much like the human flu vaccine, the vaccine doesn’t prevent your pet from getting sick, it decreases the severity of the symptoms and the risk of shedding the virus to other pets.
As a reminder, veterinarians recommend to obtain vaccinations at least 5-7 days before taking them to a pet care facility.
Is there a Vaccine?
Yes, there are now vaccines for each of the H3N8 and the H3N2 strains of Canine Influenza. Each vaccine requires 2 doses given 3 weeks apart with an annual booster. Again, this vaccine doesn't prevent your pet from getting sick, it decreases the symptoms and the risk of shedding the virus to other pets.
Veterinarians recommend obtaining this vaccine 6 weeks prior to visiting a pet care facility to ensure full protection.
Shel-Ray currently requires Rabies, Distemper, Parvo, and Bordetella Vaccines for Lodging, Daycare, and Training.  Rabies is required for Grooming.
It is advised you talk with your Veterinarian regarding the Canine Influenza Vaccines.
12005 Bristol Road, Bristol, WI 53104, us
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