Canine Influenza Update
Canine Influenza is back in the news again. There have been new cases reported in both Montana and Wyoming recently. This comes on the heels of an outbreak last year that started in Chicago and spread across at least 7 states including Minnesota.
The good news is we now have vaccines in stock and available to protect dogs from both strains of Canine Influenza A, H3N2 and H3N8. The vaccines must be boostered 3 weeks after the initial vaccination, and then given annually. Protection can be expected about 2 weeks after the booster vaccine is given.
Facts about CIV:
– The virus is passed in a similar fashion to all other flu viruses and can be transmitted on fomites (inanimate objects such as counter tops, floors, shoes/clothes, and toys)
– Dogs can shed the virus for 2-4 days before they begin showing symptoms of the disease.
– The virus can be difficult to diagnose with some routine tests because there is a very short period of time between viral shedding and symptoms when a dog can test positive.
– Most cases have mild to moderate upper respiratory signs, but geriatric, immunocompromised and very young dogs may develop more severe or potentially life threatening disease.
Who should be vaccinated?
All dogs are at risk of getting this disease, because it is a new and emerging threat to which they have no immunity. As a result, 80% of infected dogs will get sick, in some cases very sick. The disease typically lasts for 10-21 days, with varying severity.
The canine influenza vaccine is a “lifestyle” vaccine, and is not recommended for every dog. In general, the vaccine is intended for the protection of dogs at risk for exposure to the canine influenza virus, which include those that participate in activities with many other dogs or where there are many other dogs present. The dogs at the highest risk are those that travel, board, frequent dog parks, daycare, or groomers. Dogs that may benefit from canine influenza vaccination include those that receive the kennel cough (Bordetella/parainfluenza) vaccine, because the risk groups are similar.
If you would like to read more detailed information, the following link to the AVMA’s Canine Influenza page is very informative.
If you have further questions, please contact us at Mounds View Animal Hospital, 763-780-8351.
The Doctors and Staff of Mounds View Animal Hospital