Canine Influenza

posted: by: Camille Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Hidden Spring Veterinary Clinic is committed to keeping our clients informed and up to date on the recent canine influenza outbreak. 

What is Canine Influenza?

Dog flu is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by a specific Type A influenza virus referred to as a "€œcanine influenza virus." This is a disease of dogs, not of humans. The "€œcanine influenza virus"€ is an influenza A H3N8 influenza virus (not a human influenza virus) that was originally an equine (horse) influenza virus. This virus has spread to dogs and can now spread between dogs.

Canine influenza virus is one of several pathogens that can cause infectious respiratory disease in dogs. Because signs are similar, diagnostic testing is needed to identify the specific cause of illness. Dogs can shed viral and bacterial pathogens that cause infectious respiratory disease during the incubation period before showing any clinical signs. Testing within the first few days of illness is very important because this shedding is limited in duration.

Signs of the canine influenza virus include

  • A dry hacking cough
  • Coughing up white, foamy phlegm
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever

Currently there are no confirmed cases in Michigan. 

The strain of influenza identified (H3N2) differs from the strain used in the vaccine (H3N8).  However, vaccination is still recommended for high risk canines (canines being exhibited or having to travel) as there may be some cross protection that may minimize clinical signs and shedding. A two-vaccination protocol is recommended (one injection followed by a booster two weeks later) with protection occurring two weeks following the last booster vaccine.

Hidden Spring Veterinary Clinic currently has the canine influenza vaccine in stock.  Please call our office at 248-349-2598 if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment to receive the vaccine.