The most recent update about the canine influenza virus (CIV) is that there have been 32 confirmed cases of canine influenza in Wright county. These are the first reported cases of H3N2 in Minnesota since 2015.
Here are some important facts about Canine flu:
- According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the flu virus is highly contagious. "Almost all dogs exposed to CIV will become infected, and the majority (80%) of infected dogs develop flu-like illness. The mortality (death) rate is low (less than 10%)." Dogs that are very young, very old, and immune compromised dogs are at higher risk of complications from flu.
- Symptoms of canine influenza include: lethargy, cough, fever and nasal discharge.
- Flu is transmitted through respiratory secretions. Dogs are most contagious to other dogs during the first 48 hours, before they start showing symptoms of the disease themselves.
- The incubation period for the Canine flu is 2-5 days.
- The flu virus can live in the environment for up to 24 hours. The Canine flu is not contagious to people, however the H3N2 virus may be contagious to cats.
- As of this writing, there have been no documented cases of Canine flu in the Metro area.
- The vaccine is available at Westgate Pet Clinic. Initially two vaccines are given 2-4 weeks apart, then annually if indicated. Your dog does not have full immunity until 2-3 weeks after the booster vaccine has been given.
- The vaccine we carry protects against both strains of canine influenza virus, H3N2 and H3N8
- Like any vaccine, the flu vaccine can cause symptoms of lethargy or malaise. In addition, there are some pets that can develop the flu, even if they are vaccinated.
- The flu vaccine should not be given if your dog is currently ill, or less then 8 weeks of age. Also, if your dog has been vaccinated with any other vaccine, you must wait 2 weeks before giving the flu vaccine.
- The "Kennel Cough" vaccine does not vaccinate against Canine Influenza. (This vaccine targets the bacteria bordetella bronchiseptica.) The parainfluenza vaccination included in the distemper combination vaccine is for a different disease and does not vaccinate against Canine Influenza.