Canine Influenza and Leptospirosis
Viral and Bacterial Infections in Dogs

Canine Influenza
Not only are humans affected by flu symptoms, dogs, too, are susceptible to the
canine flu. An adaptation of the horse flu, canine influenza can easily infect one dog
and spread to other canines in a locale.

In the U.S., the flu has been noted in such states as Wisconsin, Florida, and New
York. So, needless to say, it will eventually spread beyond these boundaries as well.

Seek Immediate Care if your Dog Contracts the Flu
In dogs, the canine flu makes itself known by symptoms such as nasal congestion and discharge and a high temperature. If the condition worsens, dogs often suffer from pneumonia and can have breathing difficulties too. Unfortunately, in some instances, the upper respiratory virus can be fatal; therefore, immediate care and treatment is indicated if your dog contracts the flu.

Antibiotic Therapy for CIV
If canine influenza is diagnosed, your veterinarian will treat your dog with antibiotic therapy. While antibiotics used to treat viral infections, such as canine influenza, cannot kill the virus, they can and will stave off any bacterial infection that develops from the flu. On average, about 3% of dogs succumb to the secondary infection brought on by the canine influenza virus (CIV). Therefore, administering antibiotics are an important part of the therapy.

Take the Necessary Precautions, especially if your Dog is Involved in Activities where other Dogs Congregate
While a secondary infection is not a significant risk to dogs that live in private residences, dogs that regularly visit doggie daycare, live in shelters, and take part in dog shows are at risk for infection. Therefore, if you take your dog to doggie daycare or have signed him up for an obedience class where animals have been sick, then you should keep him quarantined at home until you feel that it is safe for him to resume his former activity. Currently, there is no indication that CIV affects humans too.

Leptospirosis - Another type of Infection
Another canine-related infection, leptospirosis, unlike CIV, does affect humans. The hard-to-diagnose sickness is spread by the leptospira pathogen, and has been triggered at events, such as dog shows, where there is a large assembly of dogs. Because the leptospira is a water-borne type of bacterium, it often is transmitted through an animal's urine. Therefore, it's important to wash your hands after you handle or clean up after your pet and to wear vinyl or latex gloves during those activities. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine that can prevent the illness, so it's important to take the foregoing precautions.

Leptospirosis - Associated Symptoms
Dogs who contract leptospirosis often suffer from fever and chills. Some dogs will vomit and most sufferers will lose their appetite. Dogs tend to drink excess water as well as a result of the fever.

Adults who succumb to leptospirosis usually suffer from a high fever, chills, joint and muscle aches, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and conjunctivitis. Severe cases bring on kidney and liver difficulties as well as extreme fatigue or a rash. Some people as well as dogs can contract the infection without any notable affect. The infection is treated with antibiotic therapy, typically by administering streptomycin or penicillin antibodies.