Canine Influenza: When all he wants is to play, don’t let the flu get in his way.

Canine Influenza: When all he wants is to play, don’t let the flu get in his way.

What is canine influenza?

Canine influenza is a relatively new disease caused by a ‘flu’ virus. It causes respiratory infection and only affects dogs. It spreads quickly and may cause serious illness such as pneumonia.

Is it contagious?

Very. And you don’t know which dogs are shedding the virus. Just like human flu, the clinical signs appear after the shedding. First reported in 2003, canine flu quickly reached 30 states by 2009. Then with increased awareness, cases were identified in an additional 10 states. Currently, 40 states have reported cases of canine influenza. The virus was first reported in Florida in March 2003.

How does it spread?

In three ways:

*Through direct contact between dogs (licking, nuzzling)

*Through the air (coughing, sneezing)

*Via contaminated surfaces (such as a shared toy or when a person picks up the virus on their hands, then pets a dog)

What are the signs of canine influenza?

About 80% of dogs that show signs of influenza will have mild disease. Signs include:

*lasting cough

*low-grade fever

*nasal discharge

*lack of energy

*loss of appetite

In about 20% of the cases, more severe signs will occur, such as:


*high fever

How is it diagnosed?

It’s hard to diagnose canine influenza. It can be confused with Bordetella (canine cough) because the signs are very similar. Your veterinarian will treat the clinical signs most likely with antibiotics but to confirm flu, he or she would need to collect blood or nasal swab samples.

Is my dog at risk for infection?

Most dogs regardless of breed or age at risk for canine influenza. However, certain venues and activities can raise your dog’s risk of canine influenza infection even higher. Review this list of questions to see if any of these places or activities apply to your pet.

Does your dog:

*Come from a shelter, rescue center, breeding kennel or pet store?

*Board at a kennel or go to doggie daycare?

*Attend  group training or “dog kindergarten”?

*Visit a groomer or dog parks?

*Enter dog events?

*Travel with you across state lines?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, tell your veterinarian and ask what can be done to protect your dog from canine influenza.

How can I protect my dog from canine influenza?

Protection in the form of an effective vaccine is available through your veterinarian. Nobivac Canine Flu H3N8 from Merck Animal Health has been clinically proven to significantly reduce the severity of influenza and the length of time that a dog is sick.

The initial vaccination requires 2 doses given 2-4 weeks apart, followed by annual revaccination. If your dog is presently being vaccinated for canine cough (Bordetella), it is likely candidate for Nobivac Canine Flu H3N8.

Is the vaccine safe?

In clinical studies, Nobivac Canine Flu H3N8 was proven safe and well-tolerated in over 700 dogs. There were over 30 breeds ranging in age from 6 weeks to 10 years old. Since then, the vaccine has been used safely in more than 7 million dogs.

Your veterinarian can advise you whether this new influenza vaccine should be added to your dog’s vaccination schedule.

To protect your pet, talk to your vet. Remember, your veterinarian is the best source of information regarding the health of your pet. Don’t be shy about asking questions or scheduling time just to talk. Be sure to call your veterinarian if you have any questions about canine influenza, vaccination or if you notice your dog coughing or showing other signs of a respiratory infection.

Learn more at

*Disclaimer: this information was taken directly from Merck Animal Health pamphlet. Please call the above number or email for more information.


About jwatrel

I am a free-lance writer and Blogger. I am the author of the book "Firehouse 101" ( 2005) part of trilogy of books centered in New York City. My next book "Love Triangles" is finished being edited and should be ready for release in the Fall. My latest book, "Dinner at Midnight", a thriller is on its last chapter. My long awaited book explains the loss of the 2004 Yankee game to Boston. I work as a Consultant, Adjunct College Professor, Volunteer Fireman and Ambulance member and Blogger. I have a blog site for caregivers called 'bergencountycaregiver', a step by step survival guide to all you wonderful folks taking care of your loved ones, a walking project to walk every block, both sides, of the island of Manhattan "MywalkinManhattan" and discuss what I see and find on the streets of New York and three sites to accompany it. One is an arts site called "Visiting a Museum", where I showcase small museums, historical sites and parks that are off the beaten track both in Manhattan and outside the city to cross reference with "MywalkinManhattan" blog site. Another is "DiningonaShoeStringNYC", featuring small restaurants I have found on my travels in this project, that offer wonderful meals for $10.00 and under. So be on the lookout for updates on all three sites and enjoy 'MywalkinManhattan'. The third is my latest site, "LittleShoponMainStreet", which showcases all the unique and independent shops that I have found on my travels throughout and around Manhattan. I have started two new blog sites for the fire department, one "EngineOneHasbrouck HeightsFireDepartmentnj" for the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department to discuss what our Engine Company is doing and the other is "BergenCountyFireman'sHomeAssociation" for the Bergen County Fireman's Association, which fire fighters from Bergen County, NJ, go to the Fireman's Home in Boonton, NJ to bring entertainment and cheer to our fellow brother fire fighters quarterly.
This entry was posted in Bergen County NJ Programs, Men's Programming, Pet & Animal Programming, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Services, Support Services for Seniors, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Canine Influenza: When all he wants is to play, don’t let the flu get in his way.

  1. jwatrel says:

    Please call the above number or email for more information.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s