There is no treatment specifically for canine influenza.
Treatment of dogs with CIV infection includes providing adequate supportive care and prescribing antibiotics for secondary bacterial infection.
Antiviral Agents Not Indicated for CIV
There is no antiviral treatment specifically for canine influenza at this time. Treatment with oseltamivir (Tamiflu®, Roche Pharmaceuticals), which is approved for use in humans, has been suggested for CIV. However, its use in dogs is not recommended for several reasons:2,4
- Oseltamivir acts by trapping the virus in infected cells, and it must be administered very early (within 48 hours after infection), before the virus is widespread in the body, to be beneficial. Most dogs with canine influenza present to a veterinarian after this time.
- There have been no safety and efficacy studies of this agent in dogs.
- Most dogs recover from CIV infection with appropriate supportive care.
- Use of oseltamivir in dogs may promote viral resistance, and there is no system for detecting resistance.
- Oseltamivir is the primary line of defense against human seasonal influenza and pandemic influenza. Overuse is discouraged in both human and veterinary medicine so that it retains maximal efficacy if needed during a human influenza pandemic.