We are continuing to monitor this virus closely. The new circulating strain that was first seen to affect dogs in Chicago is H3N2. The current flu vaccines that are available can help protect against a different strain called H3N8. Because the Chicago strain is new, we do knot know if our current vaccine is protective against the new H3N2 strain. However, owners should still consider vaccinating dogs that visit dog parks, are boarded, go to grooming salons or dog shows.
We have vaccinated several dogs in the last few weeks with the CIV vaccine. These are dogs who participate in the above activities, have concerns about the flu affecting their dog, or want to do everything they can to protect their dog against a flu virus. The vaccine is low risk (even though all vaccines carry some risks), and offers protection against the older H3N8 strain. We do not know if it would have any cross protection against the new H3N2 strain, but in general it should not be a high risk vaccine for the dog.
Canine Influenza (CIV) is one of several viral and bacterial causes of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease. It has two forms. Most dogs contract the mild form and recover with supportive care. Rarely, a dog can contract a more severe form that can require hospitalization and aggressive care. The virus is considered quite contagious and can easily be spread wherever groups of dogs are in aerosol contact with each other (dog parks, daycare facilities, boarding facilities, grooming facilities, dog schools, etc.) Humans cannot contract CIV from dogs, but can spread the virus between susceptible dogs.
It has now been confirmed in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. We will continue to monitor the situation daily and adjust our recommendations as needed. Please be on alert for symptoms of respiratory disease in your dog (cough, decreased appetite,fever) and give us a call if you have any concerns. 952.447.4118