Apr 24 2015

Health Alert: Canine Influenza Virus

Canine Influenza Virus – Is your pet vaccinated?

As you may be aware, there is a new strain of canine influenza virus, H3N2 causing an outbreak of illness in Chicago, affecting over 1,100 dogs. Outbreaks have reached Wisconsin, Indiana and our neighbor, Ohio.

This strain is new to the US, and different from the current H3N8 strain, for which there is a vaccine. The American Veterinary Medical Association is urging all pet owners to have their dog(s) vaccinated with the current H3N8 vaccine. The hope is that it will provide some cross protection.

Symptoms of canine influenza (both strains) may include:

  • lethargy
  • fever
  • coughing
  • discharge from nose or eyes

Secondary bacterial infections may develop and lead to more severe illness, pneumonia, or even death.

CIV is highly contagious and is spread through respiratory secretions, which can contaminate water bowls, kennel surfaces, leashes, and collars. These secretions also become airborne through coughing and sneezing, which leads to infection of other dogs.

The CIV vaccination is recommended for dogs at risk of infection due to their increased exposure to other dogs. Exposure to other dogs can happen in many ways. Some examples are:

  • boarding
  • grooming
  • training classes
  • dog parks
  • social events
  • trips to pet stores

We require the canine influenza vaccine for all dogs boarding or being groomed at our hospital. Please check to be sure your dog has an up to date CIV vaccine. If your dog has never been vaccinated for CIV, the initial series requires 2 injections of the vaccine given 2 weeks apart. The first injection is given a minimum of 4 weeks prior to boarding or being groomed and the second is given 2 weeks later (2 weeks prior to boarding or being groomed). If your dog is overdue for his one year booster, we may need to restart the series.

Please call us if you have questions about CIV or CIV vaccination or to check if your pet’s vaccination status. If you have concerns regarding your pet’s health or your pet is experiencing any symptoms, we are here to help.

northpenn | Blog Post, Pet Health

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