All shelter dogs at the Kentucky Humane Society have received at least one canine influenza vaccine; two vaccines, spaced 2-4 weeks apart, are needed for full effectiveness.
We advise ALL dog owners talk to their veterinarians about getting their dogs vaccinated, as vaccination - and limiting your dog's exposure to other dogs - is the best way to prevent the spread of this virus. But similar to flu vaccines in humans, a vaccinated dog that is exposed to influenza may still contract the virus and show symptoms, which are usually less severe because of being vaccinated.
If your dog is coughing or exhibiting signs of illness, please do not bring your dog around any other dogs, and please contact your veterinarian ASAP. In additiona, our Healthy Pets Clinic offers the flu vaccine for $25 per shot (2 are needed spaced 2-4 weeks apart). Thanks for doing your part to keep dogs in our community healthy!
Information provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
Canine influenza virus (CIV), or dog flu, is a highly contagious virus that can affect dogs of any breed, age, sex or health status. Almost all dogs exposed to the virus become infected, and the majority (80% of infected dogs) develop flu-like illness. CIV is not contagious to people.
- The canine influenza virus travels from infected dogs to uninfected dogs through:
- Direct contact
- Coughing, barking and sneezing
- Contaminated objects: clothing, kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes
- People handling or moving between infected and uninfected dogs
Range from mild to severe: persistent coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, lethargy, reduced appetite and fever
Secondary bacterial infection can develop and may cause more severe illness and pneumonia
- Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s risk of exposure and if the canine influenza vaccines is right for your dog
- Avoid exposing your dog to obviously sick dogs
- If there is a CIV outbreak in your area, avoid taking your dog to areas where dogs gather
- If your dog shows signs of illness, isolate it from other dogs and seek veterinary care
- Wash your hands after handling any dog and especially after handling a sick dog
- Provide supportive care and keep the dog as comfortable as possible
- Medications may be necessary for severe illness or secondary bacterial infections
Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks.