What you should know about Canine Influenza

posted: by: Town and Country Animal Hosiptal Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 


Many of you have likely heard about Canine Influenza (CIV) in recent years, and about the new strain identified in 2015. Cases of CIV H3N2 have been confirmed in over 15 states, including recently in Texas and Alabama. Dr. Kaga, Dr. Ormsbee and Dr. Charlton wanted to share some information with you about Canine Influenza.

Please note -- There have been no cases reported in Arkansas, and we would notify our clients immediately if that were to happen. Also, generally the outbreaks have occurred in densely populated areas such as Chicago and Dallas. 

Prevention by vaccine - Town and Country now has the CIV H3N2 vaccine available for our patients. It can be administered to healthy dogs 8 weeks of age or older. Two doses are given three weeks apart. Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected, and 80% of those infected develop clinical signs. The vaccine may not entirely prevent infection, but should reduce the severity and duration of the illness.

Risk - CIV is spread through aerosolized respiratory secretions (via coughing, barking, sneezing) and from contaminated objects. Dogs at higher risk of infection are dogs who frequently have contact with other dogs. Dogs that are boarded, in day care, visit groomers or dog parks, travel for shows, or go to training classes would have more opportunity to come into contact with a CIV- contaminated dog.

Symptoms - The American Veterinary Medical Association has reported two different clinical syndromes seen in infected dogs:
• Mild form — Dogs suffering with the mild form of canine influenza develop a soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days. They may also be lethargic and have reduced appetite and a fever. Sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose may also be observed. Some dogs have a dry cough similar to the traditional "kennel cough" caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica/parainfluenza virus complex. Dogs with the mild form of influenza may also have a thick nasal discharge, which is usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection.
• Severe form — Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza develop high fevers (104ºF to 106ºF) and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort. Pneumonia may be due to a secondary bacterial infection.

Please contact our staff anytime at 501-868-4365 if you have any questions about Canine Influenza!