Healthy Pet Network

Read our articles by Dr. Plechner

Specific Diseases 


  What is Canine Flu?

By Alfred J. Plechner, D.V.M.

Apparently, this is considered a new disease that has been discovered recently. The actual truth is that this canine / feline flu has been present for many years and is only now being recognized. These flu viruses have been present for many years. As a veterinarian being in practice for over 40 years, I have seen flu like signs in dogs and cats for over 40 years..

The clinical signs may vary from a digestive tract involvement causing vomiting and diarrhea to a viral respiratory infection causing slightly roughened lung sounds referred to as increased vesicular sounds bilaterally.

The fact that the flu has not been diagnosed until now, does not mean that it not has been present.

Over the years, the flu virus that did occur, often developed in house hold pets a week later.

It has never been shown that there is a vertical transmission from people to animals. But the interesting thing that I have observed is, that when there is an environmental change in day time and night time temperatures of more than 30 degrees, people and animals often develop the flu. Is it an environmental stress and not totally contagious?

Why then do people and animals contract the flu when they are  never exposed to another subject?

Have you ever eaten a bad meal and in the morning awakened with a sore throat and a runny nose?

Where do you think this came from?

Flu viruses and flu vaccines meant to stop the advancement of the flu are really questionable in my own opinion.

These viruses are very fragile and subject to major environmental changes that cannot be protected with the old vaccine.

First of all, what you need to determine is, “is this virus terminal or not. How sick do you need to become to risk a reaction from the vaccine ahead of time?

I do not think you do. This is my opinion after recognizing and treating flu viruses in dogs and cats without a single fatality.

What are the signs of flu in your dog or cat?

They can vary from feeling bad to vomiting and diarrhea, or increased lung sounds with chronic coughing.

Often the temperature will be elevated over 102.5. If the temperature is below 100.5, this may indicate that a virus is present but the immune cells have not quite realized the problem. Generally, antibiotics and steroids will treat the problem in 5 to 7 days.

The virus appears to be only 30 % contageous.

Recently a more severe form of flu virus has appeared in dogs in the eastern United States. We have been told that this flu virus is occurring in epidemic proportions. There are new vaccines that have been made to protect dogs from this form of virus that are being recommended by the veterinarians dealing with this problem. So far, I am not aware of this virus invading our area, but with travelling animals, it may only be a matter of time.

Copyright ©2009

    Top of page