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.