Canine Influenza Virus (CIV)

Canine Influenza (dog flu) H3N8 is a contagious disease.  This is a viral disease of dogs, not of humans. This was originally a horse influenza virus that has mutated and spread to dogs and can now spread between dogs.

The symptoms of this illness in dogs are cough, runny nose, lethargy, lack of appetite and fever.  It is often mistaken for kennel cough and other respiratory infections, but can result in pneumonia.  Nearly all dogs who are naïve to the virus are susceptible to infection.  About 80 percent of dogs will have a mild form of the disease.  The number of dogs infected that die is between 5-8% but with quick diagnosis and treatment may be as low as 1-5% mortality.

Dr. Joe Martins' dog Peanut looking at cameraThankfully Belle Mead Animal Hospital has not had any known cases of Canine Influenza.  However, outbreaks have occurred in New Jersey.

Which dogs should be vaccinated for Canine Influenza?

All dogs should be vaccinated because the virus can be spread through the air (cough, Sneeze) and by contact with contaminated objects like bowls, clothing, hands, etc.

Any dog or dog owners who go to boarding facilities, doggie day care facilities, dog parks, pet stores, kennels, shelters, grooming facilities, dog shows, etc. should be vaccinated.

The vaccine is safe and effective and can be given to puppies as young as 6 weeks of age.