May 4, 2018
been receiving questions from some of our pet owners about a dog virus called
canine influenza. They were concerned about stories they had seen or read in
the news about “dog flu” outbreaks. In answering their questions, we realizes
that all of our dog owners may have similar questions and concerns. So, we’re
writing to tell you about canine influenza, what puts dogs at risk and what can
be done to protect them.
Canine influenza is a relatively new disease and can be
caused by two different canine influenza virus strains, H3N* and H3N2. Both
strains of canine influenza virus cause respiratory disease in dogs. Affected
dogs may develop coughing, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy and loss of
appetite. The signs of infection are similar to those of other respiratory
disease in dogs. With proper medical attention, most dogs will recover.
However, in some cases, canine influenza can progress to a more severe or even
life-threatening condition, such as pneumonia.
Canine influenza is highly contagious, so visiting places
where dogs socialize or congregate, such as doggie day cares, dog parks,
boarding facilities and urban location, places dog dogs at higher risk for
becoming infected. Making the situation even more difficult to control is that
dogs can spread the virus before signs of illness appear.
The best way to protect your dog from canine influenza is
through vaccination. Fortunately, there are vaccines now available for each
canine influenza strain, H3N8 and H3N2, The initial vaccination requires two
doses of each vaccine, given 2 to 4 weeks apart. Thereafter, an annual booster
for each influenza strain is recommended for continued protection.
We recommend vaccinating dogs against both canine influenza
H3N8 and H3N2 and have vaccines available. Please call us to discuss any
questions you might have and to set up an appointment.
The Staff at Layhill Animal Hospital