I was informed this morning that there was an outbreak of H3N2 Canine Flu in Austin, Texas. This is the virus that affected Chicago where more than 1,000 cases of canine infectious respiratory disease were reported. The CIV vaccination your pet may have now is most likely for the H3N8 virus. It is unknown if the H3N8 vaccination will help protect your dog from the H3N2 virus. But, better safe than sorry. There is now a vaccination available for the H3N2, however, even if you were to start vaccinating today, your dogs will not be protected until 4 weeks at the earliest.
As we enter the Christmas Holiday and travel or board our dogs, it is very important that you look for the signs of CIV. If you see (or hear) any coughing dogs or dogs with “cold” or “flu” like respiratory symptoms, please keep your pet and your family away. CIV is easily transmitted from dog to dog through air particles, physical contact, and food bowls/toys touched by infected dogs . Humans can even transfer the virus between dogs. (There is 1 reported case of the H3N2 infection in a cat.)
If your dog shows any signs of respiratory illness:
- Wet or dry cough
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose with either clear or yellowish secretions
- Mild, low-grade fever (103°F)
See your vet immediately.