“Can dogs get stomach flu?” is a popular question from pet owners. Unfortunately, the answer is a solid yes! Dogs can carry and transmit stomach flu to other animals and may experience vomiting, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, or depression.
The problem with stomach flu in dogs is that you don’t always know it’s going around until your animal develops symptoms. In this article, we break down how pet parents can protect their furry children from doggy-daycare tummy troubles.
What Is The Stomach Flu?
Stomach flu (also known as “canine distemper” or “viral gastroenteritis”) is caused by the Parvovirus that was first detected in dogs in 1976. The virus can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, and fever (both of which can be life-threatening) as well as multiple organ failure and death. It’s an especially nasty disease because it can cause symptoms before the dog even becomes ill. These symptoms can include a loss of appetite, lethargy, and a yellowish tint to the whites of the eyes.
The virus spreads through contact, whether direct or indirect. Dogs can catch the virus from other dogs who have been sick for up to three days after recovery from an infection. The disease is transmitted through infected dog feces, food, water, or infective air droplets from other infected animals. Thankfully, it can’t be spread by physical contact between two healthy dogs (although they may both get sick from exposure). It’s also not spread from human to dog.
What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of The Stomach Flu In Dogs?
Once your dog is infected with stomach flu, he or she will most likely have vomiting, watery diarrhea, and fever. Sometimes the fever may be very high (over 104 F). If you suspect your dog has stomach flu you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Stomach flu is usually diagnosed by performing a blood test or examination of the feces. A veterinarian may also check for other illnesses that are unrelated to the virus, such as giardia.
There are certain things that make dogs more susceptible to getting sick with the dog flu. These include:
Puppies are very susceptible to all kinds of illnesses and diseases, including the stomach flu. It’s important that you get your new pup vaccinated right away so that he or she doesn’t get sick from the parvovirus.
If your pup eats an unbalanced diet, he or she may be more susceptible to stomach problems, including the stomach flu.
One of the biggest reasons that dogs catch the stomach flu is because they aren’t vaccinated against it. Always make sure that you’re keeping your dog up to date on his or her shots!
These are just some of the things that may put your dog at risk of getting sick with the parvovirus. If your dog has been exposed to the stomach flu virus in any way, he or she can rapidly get sick with a fever.
How Can You Treat The Stomach Flu In Dogs?
Stomach flu can be treated with antibiotics, fluids given intravenously, and anti-nausea medication. The best treatment is to treat the dog quickly. If your dog shows signs of dehydration, you should also have your veterinarian determine whether it’s safe for your dog to drink water. Once the virus is in remission, it will be easier to prevent a recurrence. Your veterinarian will give your dog a series of antibiotics to prevent secondary infections. This drug regime can last for up to two months after the infection has cleared up, but if recurrence occurs then additional treatment may be needed.
Can You Vaccinate Your Dog?
Most dogs that are exposed to stomach flu don’t get the disease; vaccines are not effective once the virus has spread through an animal’s body (although vaccination can protect other pets in case they become exposed). In addition to the vaccine, cross-protection from distemper can be provided by a few months of canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) vaccination. Like other vaccines, this shot should not be given to pregnant dogs.
You might be interested in ‘Can dogs get flu shots?’
How Can You Prevent The Stomach Flu in Dogs?
While there is no 100% cure for this virus, there are ways that you can take to prevent the chance that your dog will get sick with it. First of all, make sure that their diet doesn’t include any raw or undercooked meat. Also, make sure they are on a regular schedule for vaccinations. If your dog isn’t vaccinated against the stomach flu, he or she is more likely to get sick from it. Finally, be sure that your dog doesn’t have contact with other dogs that are known to be sick from the virus!
The stomach flu can hit a healthy dog hard, so be sure to keep a close eye on them if they’ve been around other pets. There are plenty of things you can do at home to help your sick pup feel better before going out and seeing a veterinarian. Here are some of those things that you can do to protect your canine companion from getting sick:
- Never share food bowls, water bowls, or bedding with other pets.
- Don’t let your dog eat anything while at a dog park or while being walked without your supervision.
- Never let an infected animal lick or bite an uninfected animal.
- Wash your dog’s paws with soapy water to clean off any virus particles which may have been left behind from a previous episode of illness.
- When bringing a new animal home, isolate them from the rest of your pets for at least five days.
Yes. Dogs can get stomach flu. Dogs can contract it from eating food contamination, contact with animal feces, and through contact with humans who have the virus.
If your canine companion becomes very sick with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, they’re likely experiencing stomach flu. Take them to your vet immediately.
Thank you for reading the article.
Now that you know dogs can get stomach flu, explore other flu-related dog articles that you might be interested in.
Has your dog ever suffered from the stomach flu? What precautions do you often take to prevent your dog from getting the flu? We would love to hear from you. Please your stories by leaving a comment below!