Getting the flu is no walk in the (dog) park, especially for pups who probably don’t understand what’s happening to them. Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) is a relatively new discovery in the disease world, but it’s gaining momentum and hitching rides overseas as eagerly as college kids ready to study abroad. Here’s everything you need to know about CIV to protect the dog in your life.
What is CIV, where did it come from and where is it going?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, CIV is a respiratory disease caused by two separate Type A viruses. (Type A means the virus can infect animals, and its strains are always changing.) The first virus, CIV H3N8, showed up in Florida in 2004. The other, CIV H3N2, was discovered in Asia in 2006. According to Merck Animal Hospital, in 2007 in the U.S., only Florida and Tennessee reported cases of H3N8 in dogs. By 2014, 36 states confirmed infection from H3N8. The next year, Chicago experienced a huge outbreak of H3N2, the first time this strain was reported in the U.S. Since last year, 46 states have claimed cases of one or both strains.
Basically, CIV is on the move.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Dr. Karen Stasiak, a veterinarian at the animal health care company Zoetis, says appetite loss, cough, lethargy and a runny nose can all indicate a CIV infection. These symptoms can last for a few weeks and change depending on the strain. “As with flu in humans, symptoms and severity of infection may vary from dog to dog,” she adds.