Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) was first noted in 2003 in racing greyhounds in Florida.
This H3N8 strain of the virus has been detected in multiple states, but not here in the PNW.
There is a vaccine for the H3N8 strain that has greatly reduced the incidence of this disease.
The current “outbreak” is in the Chicago, Illinois area and has been found to be more virulent and can infect cats, but not humans. No cat cases have been reported.
However, the current outbreak is a different strain (H3N2) and there is currently NO vaccine for this particular strain. It is not known if the CIV vaccine offers any cross-protection for the newer strain.
More than likely the current outbreak will be controlled with thorough cleaning of dog facilities. The vast majority of the dogs infected recovery nicely with supportive care. The few that have succumbed to this influenza strain, more than likely had other circumstances affecting their health, such as age and other concurrent illnesses.
The symptoms are similar to Kennel Cough or other respiratory illnesses and include discharge from the nose or eyes, sneezing, lethargy, low-grade fever, and loss of appetite. It can spread for up to 7-10 days in nasal secretions.
If your pet shows any signs of upper respiratory illness, it is not likely to be CIV, but we still need to check them out. On the day of your appointment, please come in to speak to someone at the front desk WITHOUT your pet and we will have you bring them in when we are prepared and can minimize any spread of any upper respiratory illness.
Don’t hesitate to call with any questions or concerns.