Canine influenza, also known as “dog flu”, is a viral disease that can affect dogs and horses. It is highly contagious, and has a high rate of morbidity – approximately 80% of dogs that contract the disease will show signs. Fortunately, the mortality rate is low – around 1% overall, though it can be as high as 8% in some breeds. It is not a zoonotic disease; it cannot be passed to humans.
Signs of canine influenza include a moist cough, lethargy, sneezing, and/or a discharge from the nose or eyes.
Cases of canine influenza have been confirmed in almost every state, including Oregon.
Protecting your Pets
As with all viral illnesses, the best way to protect against canine influenza is through vaccination. We recommend vaccination for all dogs over 8 months of age that are frequently exposed to other dogs (such as at dog parks and boarding facilities), or for dogs that travel out-of-state. Some boarding facilities in the Eugene area now require proof of vaccination for canine influenza.
The vaccine we use protects against both common strains of this disease (H3N2 and H3N8). It is a two-part vaccine, with the second shot being given 3 weeks after the first.
For dogs that have the disease, treatment is highly effective. We have tests that can confirm the presence of the virus as well.
For Further Information
The following web sites have definitive information on canine influenza.