Don’t Forget the Flu Vaccine for your Canine Companion!
#1 – Monovalent vaccines DO NOT Cross-Protect against other strains. There are 2 strains of influenza that cause respiratory infections in dogs. H3N8 was first discovered in dogs in Florida in 2004 and is of equine influenza origin. The recent outbreak in Chicago Illinois in 2015 was from an Asian avian influenza strain. Again, cross-protection has not been demonstrated between these 2 strains.
#2 – Diagnostic Testing for H3N8 is Difficult and incidence may be under-represented. K9 Influenza infections resemble other viral and bacterial infections in the Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex, thus it cannot be diagnosed by clinical signs alone. Dogs infected with H3N8 shed the virus for about 7 days – the peak virus being shed in the first 2-4 days of infection, this is before the onset clinical signs. Virus shedding declines rapidly during the first 5 days of clinical disease. By contrast, H3N2 infected dogs have been reported to shed intermittently for over 20 days.
#3 – One or both strains have been found in 46 of the 5 US states. H3N8 has been identified in 41 of the US states while H3N2 has been identified in 31. As of the Fall of 2017, the only states that have no confirmed cases of either H3N2 or H3N8 are Nebraska, North Dakota, Hawaii and Alaska. We are a very mobile society and we travel with our pets.
#4 – Kennel and Boarding Safety Recommendations include vaccination for K9 Influenza. “Social dogs, including those that are boarded, groomed, group-trained , attend group-play or are group-walked, are most of infection. Social dogs should be vaccinated against infectious respiratory diseases including Bordatella, adenovirus type 2, and both types of K9 influenza virus.
#5 – The AAHA Vaccination Guidelines for K9’s states: “ Any dog deemed to be at risk for exposure to influenza virus should be vaccinated against both H3N2 and H3N8 strains. AAHA stands for the American Animal Hospital Association.
Call the Hospital today to set up an appointment if your Canine Companion has not received this important vaccine!!