It's flu season for people, as well as for their dogs. It turns out that dogs have their own brand of flu. The canine influenza virus (CIV) is fairly new, discovered in 2004. And just as there's a flu shot for people, now there's also a flu shot for dogs.
Canine influenza "is not something you want to mess with," said Dr. Monica Webb, a private practicing veterinarian. Webb hadn't seen CIV in her community until a few months ago when a West Highland White Terrier came into her office in desperate shape.
"The dog was coughing pretty bad, a deeper cough than what we sometimes see with bordetella (kennel cough). It seemed pretty clear the dog had pneumonia," Webb recalled. Testing determined the pneumonia was due to CIV, which sometimes develops into pneumonia. With aggressive treatment, this dog will recover — but some don't.