Canine Influenza

by John O'Neil DVM, reviewed and submitted by the Health & Longevity Committee 7/27/17

Canine Influenza Virus (H3N2 strain) is an extremely contagious, airborne disease of dogs.   It is a mutated variant of avian influenza and has been reported to affect cats. First reported in the US in 2015, Chicago Illinois, today now reported in > 40 states (

➢ Direct Contact (Dog to dog)
➢ Secretions (eye, respiratory)
➢ Aerosol airborne (can travel 20 feet)
➢ Fomites (bowls, leashes, crates, tables, clothing, dog run, stethoscopes)
➢ Mechanical (ventilation system in kennels, house, etc.)
➢ People/kennel help moving from infected dogs to uninfected dogs

➢ Acute onset of coughing and sneezing
➢ Nasal discharge
➢ Lethargy/ Weakness
➢ Fever
➢ Ocular discharge
➢ Lack of appetite
➢ Vomiting/Diarrhea

➢ Nasal swabs (Acute and Chronic phase)
➢ Serology (Chronic phase)

➢ If you think your dog has Canine Influenza, contact your veterinarian ASAP
➢ May take 2-4 weeks for recovery depending on the severity of the disease
➢ Influenza may come in a Mild form (cough, fever, nasal/ocular discharge) or the Severe form (pneumonia with secondary bacterial infections to mortality up to 8%)
➢ Most dogs will recover completely with proper treatment

➢ Vaccination is your best protection. Both strains of influenza (H3N2 and H3N8) are available either as a single vaccine for each strain or bivalent ( a single vaccine containing both strains)
➢ Vaccination requires two doses given 2-4 weeks apart
➢ Immunity is provided about 14 days after the second dose
➢ Vaccination reduces the severity and duration of the disease
➢ Vaccination reduces the amount of shedding and the shedding interval
➢ Do Not Vaccinate Pregnant Bitches
➢ Bitches can be vaccinated a minimum of 2 weeks prior to breeding

➢ Isolate all sick animals (min of 30 days)
➢ Infected dog can shed for 14-28 days
➢ Clinical signs within 24-48 hours after exposure
➢ Some dogs will contract the disease and spread the virus without showing clinical signs (carrier)
➢ Non-vaccinated dogs exposed to the virus have a greater chance of contracting the virus (80%)
➢ Practice good personal hygiene (frequent hand washing) and dog hygiene
➢ Disinfection Bleach solution (1part bleach to 30 parts of water), (there are other disinfectants available please ask your local veterinarian) can use to disinfection, crates, runs, tables, bowel, all surfaces, etc. and allow items to dry
➢ When dealing with infected or suspected infected dogs use disposable gowns, boots, hats, gloves, and change clothes between infected and uninfected dogs.
➢ Soft items (towels, blankets, etc.) should be washed in hot water, bleach, and detergent)
➢ Any items that cannot be washed should be discarded