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