Every year there are several reported outbreaks of canine flu throughout the country which is caused by a canine influenza virus (CIV). The virus is highly contagious to dogs and causes clinical symptoms similar to kennel cough. However, the pathogens in the two infections - kennel cough and canine flu - are different. There are no reported cases of people getting canine flu.
Clinical signs of canine flu (and kennel cough) include a mild form of coughing that can last for 10-21 days, nasal discharge, fever, and lethargy. Some dogs are more severely affected with clinical signs of pneumonia, such as high fever and trouble breathing. Testing options include airway swabs, bloodwork and radiographs.
Treatment includes keeping the pet well hydrated, maintaining nutrition, sometimes antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections.
If your pet is around a lot of dogs, such as going to dog parks, kennels and doggie daycare, a bordetella and canine flu vaccines should be considered.