Two strains of dog flu are affecting pets across the country. Canine influenza virus (CIV) H3N2 and H3N8. Both viruses can develop into a potentially serious respiratory infection.

CIV H3N2, a highly contagious virus which reached the United States in 2015. Chances are, if your dog is exposed to CIV H3N2, he or she may become infected.  80% of dogs who come in contact with a contagious CIV H3N2 infected dog become infected. Dogs that are frequently in contact with other dogs may be at high risk of infection.

CIV H3N8, a mutation of the equine H3N8, was first diagnosed in dogs in the United States in 2005. While this form is not as contagious as CIV H3N2 it has spread across the US and is now in Northern California.

Who is at risk:

For both strains of flu, almost all dogs are susceptible and it tends to spread among socially active dogs. This includes dogs that are boarded, enrolled in daycare, visit grooming facilities or frequent the local dog parks. If you have a puppy, elderly or pregnant dog or a dog that is immunocompromised, you should take extra precautions (see Extra Precautions below).

How it is spread:

CIV is spread  from dog to dog by aerosolized respiratory secretions (coughing, sneezing). It can also be spread through contaminated objects. For Example, an infected dog plays with a dog toy then an uninfected dog plays with the toy, the uninfected dog is then exposed. Clothing, equipment surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease.

Symptoms may include:

-red and/or runny eyes
-nasal discharge
-dry persistent cough
-drastic weight loss
-physical discomfort

Canine Influenza Vaccine (H3N2, H3N8):

Although Sacramento County has not yet seen any cases of dog flu (as of January 26th, 2018) Hazel Ridge Veterinary Clinic is offering the Dog Flu Vaccine, as we do expect it to make it to the Sacramento Area. The dog flu vaccine covers both strains of dog flu, CIV H3N2 & H3N8. Two doses of the vaccine are required. They are given 3 weeks apart and can be given to dogs as young as 8 weeks of age.

Extra Precautions:

– Keep them away from other dogs
-Wash your hands after touching other dogs
-Change your clothes after interacting with other dogs – the virus can live on clothing for up to 24 hours
-Disinfect hard surfaces: Dog flu can survive on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours
-Use gloves when handling affected dogs or cleaning up after them
-Isolate dogs that are already infected
-Get your dog vaccinated
-Stay up-to-date on the news
-If your dog shows symptoms, get them treated

For questions or concerns or to schedule an appointment please call us at 916-965-8200