Canine Influenza Virus

This blog is re-published from my Blogger post under the At Home Animal Hospital page by Coe Huston

Canine Influenza Virus ( CIV ) – Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1. What is CIV and is it dangerous?

CIV ( H3N2 ) is related to bird flu and is highly contagious between dogs. Symptoms are coughing, fever, lethargy and pneumonia, which can occur in severe cases.

FAQ 2. Can my family catch the virus from my dog?

No known cases of dog to human infection have occurred.

FAQ 3. Where are the most severe outbreaks occurring?

Currently, the highest number of cases are being reported out of California, Texas, Chicago, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia and the New York / New Jersey metropolitan area.

FAQ 4. How can I prevent my dog from getting this disease?

This is not a new virus, so there is an effective vaccine currently available which is highly effective at preventing transmission. It requires an exam by your veterinarian to be sure your dog is currently healthy, then 2 vaccines given 3 weeks apart. Your dog must have 2 doses of the vaccine to be protected.

FAQ 4. Should my dog be vaccinated?

If your dog is exposed to other dogs in a park, beach, boarding, grooming, veterinary clinic or other social setting, you should strongly consider vaccinating. Just as with people, if your dog is older, immune compromised, or under 12 months old, vaccination would also be recommended. If you are traveling to the mainland or receiving a dog from the mainland, vaccination is recommended strongly.

FAQ 5. Can I tell if my dog or someone else’s dog has CIV?

If the virus is in the active phase, coughing will let you know you may be seeing a case of CIV. However, the virus takes from 2 – 5 days to produce symptoms so a seemingly healthy individual may have the disease and be spreading it without showing any signs of illness.

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