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Canine Influenza

Brought to you by your veterinarian and the American Veterinary Medical Association

CANINE INFLUENZA

Highly contagious canine influenza, or dog flu, can affect dogs of any breed, age, sex or health status.  We recommend vaccinating against this virus as soon as possible.

It is caused by the canine influenza virus (CIV) and can occur year-round. Almost all dogs exposed to the virus become infected, and the majority (80% of infected dogs) develop flu-like illness. CIV is not contagious to people.

CONCERNS:

The canine influenza virus travels from infected dogs to uninfected dogs through:

  • Direct contact
  • Coughing, barking and sneezing
  • Contaminated objects: clothing, kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes
  • People handling or moving between infected and uninfected dogs

SYMPTOMS:

Range from mild to severe: persistent coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, lethargy, reduced appetite and fever

COMPLICATIONS:

Secondary bacterial infection can develop and may cause more severe illness and pneumonia.

PREVENTION:

  • Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s risk of exposure and if the canine influenza vaccines (H3N8, H3N2) are right for your dog
  • Avoid exposing your dog to obviously sick dogs
  • If there is a CIV outbreak in your area, avoid taking your dog to areas where dogs gather
  • If your dog shows signs of illness, isolate it from other dogs and seek veterinary care
  • Wash your hands after handling any dog and especially after handling a sick dog
  • Do not share equipment or toys between sick and apparently healthy dogs

TREATMENT:

  • Provide supportive care to keep the dog as comfortable as possible
  • Medications may be necessary for severe illness or secondary bacterial infections

RECOVERY:

Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: AVMA.org/CanineFlu