Tuesday, 11 July 2017 14:49

What is Canine Influenza?

There are confirmed cases of canine influenza - or dog flu - in our area. Learn what you can do to protect your pets and our community.

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. 


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.

Read 664 times Last modified on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 17:39