October 15th, 2013



Did you know that dogs can also get sick with influenza?  Canine influenza is a different strain (H3N8) of Influenza A virus than the common cause of influenza in humans (Influenza A — H1N1 and H3N2) and is not transmissible from dogs to humans. Veterinarian David Ruble says that the symptoms of canine flu mimic human symptoms:

Dogs with the mild form have a soft, wet cough that lasts for 10 to 30 days. Some dogs will have a drier cough that is similar to “kennel cough”, and might cause a misdiagnosis. Dogs with the mild form of CI may also have a low-grade fever and possibly a yellowish discharge from their nose, which is usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection.


Unfortunately, like humans, dogs can suffer from much more severe — even life-threatening — symptoms:

Dogs suffering the severe form develop pneumonia, which includes a high fever (104° to 106° F), an increased breathing rate, and difficulty breathing. A secondary bacterial infection usually accompanies pneumonia. The mortality rate for all dogs infected with CI is low, 1% to 5%.


Dr. Ruble says that there is a vaccine available that can prevent canine influenza.  And he reminds us that if our dogs have respiratory symptoms, we should keep them away from other dogs.

(Back pat: Dr. Wendy Kaufer, who happens to be married to Dr. Ruble!  Visit the Vet to Pet Mobile Small Animal Clinic website and read their seasonal newsletter here.)



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    Ned Ketyer, M.D.

    Ned Ketyer, M.D.

    Dr. Ketyer has special interests in developmental pediatrics and preventative medicine, specifically how nutrition and the environment affect health. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed his residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

    As one of the founding physicians of Pediatric Alliance, PC, Dr. Ketyer served as its president from 1997-2004. He has been practicing general pediatrics at Pediatric Alliance since 1990. Dr. Ketyer and his wife have three boys and live in Pittsburgh's South Hills. 

  • Note: The information included in these posts is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

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