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What is canine influenza?
Canine influenza is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a ”flu” virus. In dogs, a highly contagious strain of the influenza A virus known as H3N8 is able to cause respiratory illness. Other strains of the influenza A virus are responsible for causing infections in birds, horses, pigs, and people. Canine influenza virus only affects dogs.
Is my dog at risk for infection?
Most dogs, regardless of breed or age, are at risk for canine influenza. However, certain venues and activities can raise your dog’s risk of canine influenza infection even higher.
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, dog parks, or engage
with other dogs on daily walks?
• Enter dog events?
• Come into contact with other dogs in the waiting
room during visits to your veterinary clinic?
How is canine influenza spread?
Canine influenza spreads the same way that human flu spreads—through direct contact (kissing, licking, nuzzling); through the air (coughing or sneezing); and via contaminated surfaces (such as when a person picks up the virus on their hands or clothing, then touches or pets a dog). Spread can also occur if that same person touches and contaminates another surface.
How can I protect my dog from canine influenza?
Protection starts by keeping your dog in good general health. A well-nourished, well-rested, and well-cared-for pet will have a stronger immune system to help fight off infection. When you must board your pet, make sure the facility is clean, well-maintained, and that there is an influenza outbreak management plan in place. Recently, a new canine influenza vaccine—the first of its kind—was approved for use in the US. Canine Influenza Vaccine, H3N8 from Intervet/Schering-Plough 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, 2–4 weeks apart, followed by annual revaccination. If your dog is presently being vaccinated for kennel cough (Bordetella), it is a likely candidate for Canine Influenza Vaccine, H3N8. Your veterinarian can advise you whether this new influenza vaccine should be added to your dog’s vaccination schedule.
Where can I learn more about canine influenza?
Your veterinarian is the best person to answer any questions about canine influenza.
You may also visit these websites for more information:
Copyright © 2009 Intervet International B.V. All rights reserved.
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