Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Canine Influenza Virus has spread to Massachusetts, as there was a documented case in Boston last week. As your pet’s veterinarian,  we want you to know the facts and how to prevent Canine Influenza Virus (CIV).

Much like kennel cough, CIV is a highly contagious, airborne disease that causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract in dogs. This results in coughing, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and nasal discharge. Most dogs will recover without incident within 7 to 10 days. Canine influenza is not transmissible to other species of animals including humans and cats. 

Risk factors for dogs contracting influenza include boarding, day care, grooming, and visiting dog parks.  There is a vaccine available helps protect against the two most common strains of canine influenza, and it’s called a bivalent vaccine.  Not every canine influenza vaccine protects against both known-strains, and vaccination should be discussed with your veterinary team.  As with any influenza vaccine, your dog may still contract canine influenza even after receiving the vaccine. However, the symptoms and risk of complications will be significantly decreased.

According to Dr. Carey, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, the Director at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, 100% of nonvaccinated dogs exposed to the new strain (H3N2) of CIV will be infected with 80% showing clinical signs if exposed.  We strongly urge all dogs in daycare, boarding, or frequent grooming or travel to be vaccinated. 

The initial series is two boosters given three to four weeks apart, then yearly as needed.  There are few serious side effects to the vaccine beyond injection site soreness and lethargy.  

If your dog has been examined by one of our veterinarians in the last year, you can stop by at any time to get them vaccinated against Canine Influenza as a tech visit. No appointment needed.