What is canine influenza?
Canine Influenza (CIV) is a highly contagious respiratory disease of dogs. There are two strains of CIV in the United States. CIV H3N8 was the original strain in the US which caused limited illness in small populations of pets. CIV H3N2 was discovered to be the strain responsible for the 2015 Chicago outbreak. H3N2 is more contagious and more aggressive than the original CIV strain. Most dogs have never been vaccinated with the CIV vaccine and thus we have a naive population that has no immune protection to this disease allowing the virus to spread quickly among pets.
Who is at risk?
Not all dogs are at risk or need vaccinated. We can discuss your pets risk factors at your visit. In general dogs that go to daycare, boarding facilities, or frequent dog parks are at increased risk and vaccination is recommended.
Is there a vaccine?
We currently are using the only approved vaccine that protects against both strains of CIV from Merck. The vaccination is given initially and boostered 3 weeks later.
What are the signs of CIV?
Coughing, and sneezing
Nasal and eye discharge that is clear or becomes yellow/green
In the young and elderly this may progress to pneumonia.
Is there a treatment?
Treatment focuses primarily on supportive care allowing the body to respond and mount a defense. Limiting the spread of the disease is critical and easier than treating. That is why we recommend vaccinating high risk dogs.