Don’t Let Your Dog Catch the Dog Flu

Watch Out for the New Dog Flu

A German Shepherd with the dog flu is a sad puppy indeed!

Dog flu makes for a sad dog

Dog owners, please be aware A new strain of dog flu is circulating in the southeast.  This new canine influenza strain is H3N2.  This flu strain recently showed up at a dog show in Florida.  The states of Georgia, Missouri South Carolina and North Carolina also reported cases.  This virus is spreads through direct contact, airborne exposure, as well as contact with contaminated surfaces.

Symptoms of canine influenza include cough, fever and lethargy.  Dogs usually show signs of illness between  2 and 7 days of exposure. They may be able to transmit the virus prior to the onset of symptoms.  Most dogs exposed to the virus will become ill. Some dogs, especially puppies, old dogs or dogs in poor health, could develop severe illness.  If you think that your dog may have canine influenza, please contact your veterinarian immediately.  Infected dogs should receive supportive care and be isolated from other animals for 3 to 4 weeks to prevent further spread of the virus.

Help prevent the spread …

The best way to prevent severe illness and help stop this virus from spreading is vaccination.
Two vaccines given 3 weeks apart are necessary to provide protection from this virus.  Though the vaccine may not prevent the illness completely, it will decrease the severity of symptoms and decrease the amount of time that your dog is contagious to other pets.

The vaccine is recommended for dogs that frequently have contact with other dogs.  This includes dogs who attend dog shows, canine performance events, dog parks, doggy daycare and boarding facilities.

Due to lack of sanitation and potential for exposure to sick dogs, we recommend avoiding dog parks for the next few months.  In addition, if your dog regularly attends doggy daycare at multiple facilities we ask that you pick one facility at this time to minimize the potential spread of this virus.

If you have any questions about canine influenza or want to schedule your dog for the vaccination, please contact your vet.

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