You may have heard about the recent outbreak of the newest strain of “dog flu” on television, newspaper, or on social media. This is a highly contagious and potentially serious respiratory infection, caused by the canine influenza virus H3N2 and is contagious to both dogs and cats.
There have been confirmed cases of this flu in the central Illinois area (Bloomington/Peoria). Symptoms of this flu include coughing, fever, runny nose, or pneumonia symptoms.
Canine influenza virus can be spread by direct contact with respiratory discharge from infected dogs, through the air via a cough, bark, or sneeze, and by contact with contaminated objects such as dog bowls, toys, and clothing.
We will have the vaccine for dogs for the H3N2 strain of the flu in our office, which will help control disease associated the CIV H3N2. This vaccine does not prevent infection but will reduce the severity and the duration of the infection. We recommend it for all dogs over 8 weeks of age that will be exposed to the following scenarios: grooming, boarding, walks in the neighborhood or park, visits to pet stores. The vaccine is in two parts: Appointment with veterinarian and 1st dose of vaccine; then three weeks later, the second dose to be administered by technician.
There are no vaccines available for cats at this time. As there have been confirmed cases of cats with this strain of flu, we do advise keeping your cats indoors.
Please call our office if you have any questions or would like to discuss your dog's/cat's risk.
You can also visit dogflufacts.com or doginfluenza.com for more information.