Canine flu aka ......canine flu h3n2 & h3n8


What is the Canine Flu?

Dog flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by canine influenza virus.  There are currently two strains of dog flu affecting dogs in the United States, H3N8 and H3N2. 

Where can my dog catch the flu? How is it spread?

 Doggie Daycare, Boarding, the groomer, dog parks, beaches, walks around the neighborhood, travel, anywhere where dogs are socialized with other dogs.  Direct contact (sniffling, licking or nuzzling); the air (coughing or sneezing); contaminated surfaces (shared water/food bowls, toys) or from human hands or clothing where the flu virus is present. 

How could this affect my dog?


Over 200,000 rescue dogs were recently flown into California from other states which were impacted by storms.  These dogs arrived with a number of diseases, including the Canine Flu.  In addition, traveling with pets on airplanes or road trips throughout the United States has become more popular than ever.  As those pets become exposed to areas or other pets that have been exposed to the Canine Flu, the Canine Flu will travel back to San Diego with them.  These pets are likely to be taken to a groomer, boarding facility, beach, dog park, walks around your neighborhood which significantly increase the risk to your dog since the flu is contagious before symptoms arise. 

NOTE:  Informed boarding facilities and groomers are now REQUIRING the Canine Flu Bivalent for pets entering those facilities.

What are the symptoms?

 The severity of the dog flu can range from mild to severe.  A mild case could last a few days, while a severe case could last for several weeks and require quarantine which costs $7,000 to $12,000.00.  Symptoms of a mild case are:  coughing and retching, sneezing, nasal and/or ocular discharge, decreased appetite, lethargy.  A severe case could include a high fever and pneumonia 

Is the flu a issue in Southern California?

 The Canine Flu is present is the contiguous 48 United States.  A recent outbreak occurred in Northern California and spread as far South as Los Angeles. 

How can I protect my dog?

 Consult with your veterinarian to customize a vaccination plan that best suits the needs of your pet, based upon age, breed, overall health, lifestyle.   

An initial vaccination of the H3N2/H3N8 bivalent followed by a booster in 2-4 weeks, then annually thereafter is the protocol for vaccinating dogs for protection from the canine flu. 

 Any dog that has a confirmed diagnosis of the Canine Flu will be quarantined for approximately 28 days.  The dog will become very sick and could very possibly die.  The cost of a hospital quarantine and treatment could range from $7,000.00 to $12,000.00 with no guarantee that the dog will recover or survive.  Dogs with Canine Flu are contagious before they exhibit symptoms. Canine Flu in San Diego 



Introducing the ONLY Bivalent Flu Vaccine by Merck!

  • 2 in 1 protection against canine influenza which facilitates vaccination protocols
  • Reduces the incidence and severity of coughing
  • Decreases the overall clinical signs of disease, including ocular and nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, depression, and dyspnea
  • Demonstrates protection against the formation and severity of lung lesions
  • Contains inactivated virus. Adjuvanted to enhance immune response.

What is the cost of the Canine Flu Vaccination?

 At Shots For Pets clinics, the total cost to vaccinate for the Canine Flu Bivalent (H3N2 & H3N8) is $35 for the initial vaccination, $35 for the booster in 4 weeks, then $35 annually thereafter.