Every year, the flu gets spread around. Just like you, your dog is at risk of picking up the flu bug. In dogs, the flu can cause not only a fever but also respiratory issues. Here is a quick guide to how the canine influenza virus affects your dog and how the vaccine works.

The Canine Influenza Virus

The canine virus is a relatively new virus in the United States. The common signs of canine influenza include a cough, runny nose, and fever. Your dog may also seem to suffer from a lack of energy accompanied by a lack of appetite.

One of the rough sides of getting the canine influenza virus is that it tends to stick around for almost two weeks. If your dog has a weak immune system, a case of the canine flu can easily develop into pneumonia. Pneumonia can lead to a respiratory infection and more serious health problems for your dog.

Benefits Of The Canine Influenza Vaccine

The canine influenza vaccine is not designed to prevent your dog from contracting the virus; it is designed to lessen the severity of the disease if your dog does contract the virus. Your dog will not be sick for as long, and will not develop as serious of side effects as it might without the vaccine. Additionally, getting the vaccine will decrease your dog's chances of spreading the influenza virus to other dogs that it comes in contact with.

How It Works

The canine influenza vaccine is not one of the core vaccinations that your dog has to get. Rather, it is a vaccine that is given to dogs who come in contact with other dogs frequently. For example, if you board your dog in a kennel when you go out of town, if you take your dog to the dog park on a regular basis, or if you own more than one dog, you may want to get the canine influenza vaccine. 

It takes two doses spread out over a couple of weeks in order for your dog to get vaccinated against the canine influenza virus. Your dog will also need to get a booster shot every year in order to maintain their vaccinated status.

The canine influenza vaccine is not for every dog; however, if your dog lives a very social and active lifestyle, you should discuss the possibility of your dog getting this vaccination with a vet, like those at Basking Ridge Animal Hospital.