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Canine Influenza Virus

March 23, 2018

Dr. 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! For more information specific to our area, please read our article on Canine Respiratory Disease: What Peterborough, ON Dog Owners Need to Know.

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. To schedule a vaccination or learn more about protecting your pet, visit our Veterinary Wellness & Pet Vaccinations page.

Our Advice on Canine Influenza Virus in 2024

What is Canine Influenza, and how is it similar to human influenza?

Canine Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus in dogs, similar to human influenza in its symptoms and transmission mode. It causes coughing, sneezing, fever, and nasal discharge. Like human flu, it spreads through respiratory secretions and close contact. However, Canine Influenza is species-specific, meaning dogs don’t usually contract human influenza and vice versa. Dog owners need to be aware of this condition, especially during outbreaks. Vaccination can offer protection against certain strains.

What specific strain of Canine Influenza Virus is of concern in Canada?

In Canada, the specific strain of Canine Influenza Virus causing concern is H3N2. This strain is known for causing respiratory infections in dogs, characterized by symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and fever. Dog owners must be aware of H3N2 due to its contagious nature and potential impact on canine health. Monitoring and vaccination, where available, are vital in managing the risk and spread of this virus among dog populations.

Where have cases of H3N2 canine influenza virus recently been reported in Ontario?

Recent cases of the H3N2 canine influenza virus in Ontario have been reported in Essex County, Simcoe-Muskoka region, and Northumberland County. This spread signifies a growing concern for dog owners in these areas, emphasizing the need for vigilance, preventive measures like vaccination, and prompt veterinary care if symptoms arise. Awareness of these outbreaks is crucial for preventing further transmission among the canine population.

What should owners do if their dog shows symptoms of Canine Influenza?

If a dog shows symptoms of Canine Influenza, such as coughing, sneezing, fever, or lethargy, owners should immediately isolate them from other dogs to prevent spreading the virus. Contact a veterinarian for advice and possible testing. Avoid taking the dog to public places like parks or kennels. Provide supportive care at home, ensuring the dog stays hydrated and comfortable. Follow the vet’s instructions closely, and monitor the dog’s health for any changes or worsening of symptoms. Prompt action and care are essential.

Is a vaccine available for Canine Influenza, specifically for the H3N2 strain?

A vaccine is available for Canine Influenza, explicitly targeting the H3N2 strain. This vaccine helps reduce the risk of infection and can lessen the severity of the symptoms if a dog contracts the virus. It’s especially recommended for dogs in areas with known outbreaks or those frequently in contact with other dogs, like in kennels or dog parks. Consult a veterinarian to determine if the vaccine is appropriate for your dog’s health and lifestyle. Regular vaccination can be a critical preventive measure against Canine Influenza.

If you have any questions about the vaccine or whether your dog should be vaccinated, please call us your local animal hospital in Cavan Monaghan, ON!.