Our dogs are more than just our best friends; they’re our family. When they get sick, it is natural for us to do everything in our power to nurse them back to health. A common illness that many dogs are exposed to is dog flu. This article is going to examine the eight most common dog flu symptoms. By the end of the article, you will have a sound understanding of these symptoms and know exactly what to look for.

8 Dog Flu Symptoms to Be on the Lookout for

#1. Coughing

Coughing is one of the most common dog flu symptoms. A cough can be either wet or dry. However, it is important to note that coughing is not only associated with dog flu. It is also common in a variety of other illnesses like kennel cough, distemper, heartworm, and heart disease.

Another common cause of coughing in dogs is allergens. If you are concerned about your dog’s coughing, consult your veterinarian for further diagnosis. They will often check your dog’s vitals and perform a throat culture to determine the cause.

#2. Sneezing

a dog sneezing and making a funny face

Sneezing is another one of the most common dog flu symptoms. It is normal for your dog to sneeze occasionally. There can be a variety of causes ranging from allergies to infections. If your dog is frequently sneezing, it may be worth taking them to your veterinarian for further diagnosis.

To identify the potential cause of your dog’s sneezing, pay careful attention to the environment and timing of their sneezes. It is possible that there is an environmental cause rather than an underlying illness.

#3. Fever

One of the more severe dog flu symptoms is fever. The average temperature for dogs is slightly higher than humans. The normal range is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees. To check your dog’s temperature, you must use a specially designed rectal thermometer that has been appropriately lubricated.

Another easy way to determine if your dog has a fever is to check their nose. A healthy dog’s nose is wet and cold to the touch. If your dog’s nose is dry and warm, that is a sign they may be running a fever.

#4. Nasal Discharge

Nasal discharge is one of the few dog flu symptoms that is very easy to identify. There are two common types to look out for. The first is clear nasal drainage. In the early stages of dog flu, it is common for nasal drainage to be clear and water like.

As the condition worsens, nasal discharge often progresses to a colored state. It is often yellow or green and is thicker than the clear variety. If you notice this in your dog, it is important to get them to a vet as soon as possible for treatment.

#5. Loss of Appetite

a small white dog and dog food

Loss of appetite has many potential causes. Some common examples include depression, dental problems, cancer, gastrointestinal disease, pain, and more. It is also one of the most frequently met dog flu symptoms.

If you feel that your dog is experiencing loss of appetite, try feeding them smaller meals. Be sure they have a steady supply of clean drinking water and pay special attention to their bowel movements. Be on the lookout for diarrhea or blood in the stool. Try to keep a log of the amount of food your dog eats over 24-48 hours. If the condition does not improve, you will likely want to visit your veterinarian.

#6. Lethargy

a large lethargic dog

Lethargy is dog flu symptom that you should pay attention to. It is usually accompanied by fever or loss of appetite. The signs can vary from dog to dog. It is characterized by a general lack of energy. To identify the condition, become aware of your dog’s behavior. For instance, if your dog normally gets excited about a walk, try taking them outside to see if they exhibit normal behavior.

Unfortunately, lethargy has many causes besides dog flu. These causes include things like diabetes, liver failure, depression, anemia, and more. If your dog does not return to normal energy levels within 24-48 hours, consult with your veterinarian for further advice.

#7. Difficulty Breathing

One of the more severe dog flu symptoms is difficulty breathing. This can be a sign of fluid in the lungs and severe infection in the nasal passages. Common symptoms include flaring nostrils, chest & stomach rising rapidly, and panting behavior even in cool environments.

If your dog begins exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule a visit with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will run a variety of tests to determine the cause and likely recommend antibiotic treatment if it is an infection.

#8. Eye Discharge

a dog keeping its eyes almost closed

Eye discharge is one of the most easily identifiable dog flu symptoms. It is characterized by crust and discharge that accumulates in the corners of your dog’s eyes. However, eye discharge is not just limited to dog flu.

It can also be attributed to allergies, stuck physical debris, dryness, and more. It is important to gently remove the eye discharge using a clean cloth regularly. If the eye discharge starts to turn green or yellow, it is important to schedule a visit with your vet. Eye discharge that is green or yellow is often indicative of infection.

Bottom Line

Your dog is an important part of your family. As such, it is crucial that you pay careful attention to their behavior so that you can easily identify any changes. The eight dog flu symptoms covered in this article are prime examples that often indicate illness.

Feel free to use these symptoms to help determine if your dog is suffering from the flu. If they are, schedule an appointment with your vet so that you can get the treatment your dog needs. If there are any further symptoms you recommend looking for, feel free to tell us about them below.

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