Parainfluenza in dogs

ARROWBACK

The parainfluenza virus is often referred to by other names, such as canine influenza virus, greyhound disease and race flu. This virus used to affect only horses and is believed to have adapted to become contagious to dogs as well. Currently, no other species are at risk of this particular strain of the virus. Parainfluenza virus is easily spread from dog to dog andis excreted from the respiratory tract of infected animals for up to 2 weeks after infection and is usually transmitted through the air causing  symptoms which may become fatal. The highest instances of this respiratory infection are seen in areas with high dog populations, such as race tracks, boarding kennels and pet stores, but it remains highly contagious to any dog of any age.

Symptoms:

  • Coughing (dry or moist)
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nasal discharge
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite

Symptoms of parainfluenzavirus include many general symptoms seen in other infections, viruses and diseases. Symptoms can vary in intensity and commonly affect younger puppies and ageing dogs the worst. This virus is commonly mistaken for kennel cough, as the symptoms between the two are similar. It’s important to keep in mind that kennel cough usually produces no additional symptoms, other than the cough.