WHAT IS CANINE INFLUENZA VIRUS (CIV)?
Canine Influenza (dog flu) is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs caused by specific Type-A influenza viruses known to infect dogs.
HOW IS CANINE INFLUENZA SPREAD?
CIV is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory discharge from infected dogs (ie: nasal discharge); by air through sneezing, barking, and/or coughing; or by exposure to contaminated objects (ie: dog bowels, cages, clothing, etc.)
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CIV?
The signs of this illness in dogs are, but not limited to: coughing, lethargy, nasal discharge, lack of appetite, fever. The severity of illness with canine flu in dogs can range from no signs of infection to severe damage to lungs via pneumonia.
IS CIV FATAL?
Rarely (less than 2%); yet, this is a relatively new cause/strain of disease in dogs, making all dogs susceptible to infection.
IS CIV CONTAGIOUS TO HUMANS? TO CATS?
No evidence is shown that the dog flu is contagious to humans. Per cats, the evidence is slim, but it is possible that cats could become infected.
IF MY DOG BEGINS TO COUGH, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If your dog shows signs of illness, isolate them from other dogs and seek veterinary care.
WHAT IS RALEIGH COMMUNITY ANIMAL HOSPITAL DOING TO PROTECT MY PET FROM CIV?
Any suspected canine patient is taken through a separate entrance, directly into an isolation area. Our trained team, wearing an appropriate barrier garment, examines the patient. If hospitalization is required, we have the capacity to quarantine an entire wing of our hospital. While under our care, hospitalized pets have access to a separate outdoor potty area, preventing any contact with our boarders and/or healthy pets. Our trained staff is diligent to disinfect after any interaction with an infected patient before proceeding into normal operating procedures.
IS THERE A VACCINE AVAILABLE TO PREVENT MY DOG FROM CIV?
The influenza vaccine on the market is aimed at reducing clinical signs, reducing viral shedding and the severity of damage to the lungs caused by H3N8 (the other, older, strain of influenza) and the newer strain, H3N2. The bivalent vaccine (covering H3N8 and H3N2) we carry is manufactured by Merck. We know that there are a number of pathogens, viruses and bacteria, which contribute to respiratory infections; thus, we strongly advise and encourage vaccinating for as many of them as possible, including the available bivalent vaccine for H3N8 and H3N2, in addition, to a current (within the past 6 months) intranasal Bordetella/Adenovirus/Parainfluenza vaccine. Intranasal vaccines stimulate the local immune system, “catching” the virus pathogen before it invades throughout the system. This protocol is not a guarantee that your pet will not become ill; yet, it greatly decreases the chances.