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Canine Influenza Virus

sick pupDr. Sargent and Dr. Giffen from Peterborough West Animal Hospital would like to share some facts on Canine Influenza with all of our dog lovers out there.

Canine Influenza is similar to human influenza.  It is a virus. The one that is of concern in Canada is H3N2 canine influenza virus (CIV).  Thankfully, the doctors at Peterborough West Animal Hospital tell us that we don’t have to worry about our dogs catching the same colds we do. “Dogs do not usually get human influenza and humans do not usually get canine influenza.”  Canine Influenza is a respiratory infection that is spread through coughs, sneezes, nose-to-nose contact with other dogs.  Symptoms of canine influenza include coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, eye discharge, and heavy breathing.”

Dr. Sargent and Dr. Giffen want our clients to know originally there were a few cases of canine influenza reported in Essex County and Simcoe-Muskoka region in Ontario, but additional cases of dogs infected with H3N2 canine influenza virus have now been reported in Northumberland County, Ontario.  This is getting close to home for us!

Dogs are more likely to pick up respiratory infections in daycares, dog training classes, grooming facilities, dog parks, and kennels.  You have to weigh the risks of protecting your dog rather than giving your dog social exercise and helping them run off that extra energy.

If your dog is sick (depressed, cough, runny eyes, runny nose, and decreased appetite), keep your dog home and away from other dogs (for 4 weeks) and call Peterborough West Animal Hospital and request an appointment.  Make sure to tell us the symptoms so we can take proper infection control measures to prevent potential exposure to other animals at the clinic.  If you see a dog that appears ill, keep your dog away from it.

If you are concerned about your dog contracting the canine flu there is an influenza vaccine available.  This vaccine is the best protection that we have for the H3N2 canine influenza virus (CIV).  We now have the vaccine at Peterborough West Animal Hospital.

  • Vaccination is recommended in areas where canine influenza is present as well as adjacent areas to help reduce the spread.
  • Vaccination requires two dosed, two to four (2-4) weeks apart and annually afterwards.
  • Vaccination is particularly important for dogs that are at higher risk of severe illness which includes young pups, older dogs, dogs with lung or heart problems and brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed flat faced dogs).

If you have any questions about the vaccine or whether your dog should be vaccinated, please call us.

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