This highly contagious and, for some dogs, potentially serious respiratory infection is caused by canine influenza virus H3N2, or CIV H3N2 for short. The virus has been confirmed in 38 states so far, including Missouri and Colorado. No documented cases have been reported in Kansas but the likelihood of such an event is high.
Approximately 80% of exposed dogs will develop clinical signs. Most of these patients will have the mild form, developing cough, lethargy, fever, sneeze, and nasal discharge that may last for 10-21 days. A small percentage of dogs (<10%) may develop the severe, even life- threatening, form.
The good news is that our hospital has a vaccine available to help in limiting the infection rates and severity of cases of Canine Influenza H3N2. The vaccine is to be given as an initial dose then repeated in three weeks.
Patients most likely to benefit from vaccination include:
- Dogs attending training classes or doggy day care
- Dogs that board or are groomed professionally
- Dogs frequenting dog parks