For all you dog peeps out there! ALERT!, I’m sure most of you have heard about the ‘Dog Flu’, and the unfortunate outbreak here in the San Francisco Bay Area…
Well, a highly contagious new strain[s] of dog flu, or CIV = Canine InFLUenza Virus has arrived, and the vaccination is recommended for most all dogs; but certainly for those dogs that are on contact with other dogs, in public places: such as boarding facilities, shelters, groomers, doggie classes, dog walking groups, dogs at parks or on walks….get the picture? Perhaps dogs that mostly stay at their own home, would not be at much of a risk, although if the owner were to pet another dog with the Canine Influenza Virus, there could be potential for transmission. The symptoms are similar to the stereotypical symptoms in humans, and similarly, can affect some bodies mildly, to being asymptomatic; or can have the typical respiratory symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, eyes, coughing, fever, lethargy, decreased appetite [hyporexia], etc. ; to more serious symptoms of pneumonia, and rarely, death. [please keep in mind, not all typical respiratory symptoms are related to this Influenza; there are many other causes for these symptoms, such as basic ‘kennel cough’, which in itself, can be caused by various different viruses and bacteria; and other respiratory diseases; which is why, “we” group it under “CIRDC” or Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex, and only can call it specifically, if tested for and identified, and even then, combined infections with different viruses and bacteria are possible.
I’ll paste below some more information here, and links, with my edits in Italics:
Please call or email me if you have any questions, or would like to set up a housecall to start the recommended vaccination series with a Bivalent [both strains of H3N2 and H3N8] Canine InFLUenza vaccine.
This would entail a series of 2 initial vaccinations, 2-4 weeks apart, then an annual booster.
From the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention :
Canine influenza (also known as dog flu) is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by specific Type A influenza viruses known to infect dogs. These are called “canine influenza viruses.” No human infections with canine influenza have ever been reported. There are two different influenza A dog flu viruses: one is an H3N8 virus [originating and mutating from equines] and the other is an H3N2 virus [originating and mutating from avians].
[from ‘Monterey County Now’ article on 2.8.18: The virus was discovered in 2015 in Illinois, but is thought to have originated in bird markets in Asia. It’s particularly contagious because, unlike H3N8, dogs that are infected with the H3N2 strain can spread it – by coughing, barking, sneezing, etc. – for two to three days before exhibiting any symptoms, which are similar to those seen in kennel cough. The strain is also hardy, and can survive for 48 hours on surfaces, 24 hours on clothing and 12 hours on hands. Unlike human flu, dog flu is not seasonal.]
Can canine influenza viruses infect humans?
To date, there is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza viruses from dogs to people and there has not been a single reported case of human infection with a canine influenza virus.
However, influenza viruses are constantly changing and it is possible for a virus to change so that it could infect humans and spread easily between humans. Human infections with new influenza viruses (against which the human population has little immunity) are concerning when they occur. Such viruses could present pandemic influenza threats. For this reason, CDC and its partners are monitoring the canine influenza H3N8 and H3N2 viruses (as well as other animal influenza viruses) closely. In general, canine influenza viruses are considered to pose a low threat to humans.
What are signs of canine influenza infection in dogs?
The signs of this illness in dogs are cough, runny nose, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite, but not all dogs will show signs of illness. The severity of illness associated with canine flu in dogs can range from no signs to severe illness resulting in pneumonia and sometimes death.
Most dogs recover within 2 to 3 weeks. However, some dogs may develop secondary bacterial infections which may lead to more severe illness and pneumonia. Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health, or whose pet is showing signs of canine influenza, should contact their veterinarian.
How serious is canine influenza infection in dogs?
The percentage of dogs infected with this disease that die is very small. Some dogs have asymptomatic infections (no signs of illness), while some have severe infections. Severe illness is characterized by the onset of pneumonia.
How is canine influenza spread?
Almost all dogs are susceptible to canine flu infection, and illness tends to spread among dogs housed in kennels and shelters. Canine flu can spread to other dogs by aerosolized respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing) from infected dogs, by uninfected dogs coming into contact with contaminated objects [fomites], and by moving contaminated objects or materials between infected and uninfected dogs. Therefore, dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not expose their dog to other dogs. Clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease.
Is there a test for canine influenza?
Testing to confirm H3N8 and H3N2 canine influenza virus infection in dogs is available. Your veterinarian can tell you if testing is appropriate.
How is canine influenza infection in dogs treated?
Treatment largely consists of supportive care. This helps the dog mount an immune response. In the milder form of the disease, this care may include medication to make your dog more comfortable and fluids to ensure that your dog remains well-hydrated. Broad spectrum antibiotics may be prescribed by your veterinarian if a secondary bacterial infection is suspected.
Is there a vaccine for canine influenza?
Vaccines are available in the United States for both the H3N8 and H3N2 strains of canine influenza. Your veterinarian can provide you with additional information about the vaccines and whether you should consider vaccinating your dog. [see above]
In general, I recommended for most all dogs now….