Symptoms of Avian Flu in Dogs
Symptoms that dogs may develop if they become infected with avian influenza are still not entirely clear. There have only been a few reports of dogs which have tested positive for avian influenza, but whether the symptoms they displayed were the result of their infection with the virus or some other medical issue is unknown. In a laboratory setting dogs have been purposely injected with the avian influenza virus, and while they tested positive for the virus afterward they did not develop any outward symptoms.
There have been reports of dogs dying in high numbers in areas where large poultry flocks were infected with avian influenza, but again, it is unclear whether or not the dogs died from the actual virus or some other underlying cause. It should be noted that in these areas most of the dogs are already in very poor health and have a high incidence of disease.
One dog that died and later tested positive for the virus did develop symptoms which included a runny nose, wheezing, and a very high temperature. His health quickly declined in a matter of days and he died four days after his symptoms appeared. Again, whether or not these symptoms were due to an avian influenza infection or some other underlying medical issue is not known.
What is known is that dogs may become infected with avian influenza, that they can carry the virus without showing any symptoms at all, and that it may be possible for dogs to develop symptoms when they are infected with the virus. It is assumed that dogs with poor health are at a greater risk for being adversely affected by the virus.