Canine influenza virus (CIV) causes a respiratory infection in dogs that is often referred to as canine influenza or "dog flu." Due to a recent outbreak of Canine Influenza Virus in the Chicago area, we'd like to share some information with you to help you protect your pet.

Symptoms of Canine Influenza

Pet Vaccine NeedleIs your dog showing any of the following symptoms?

  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Nasal or Eye Discharge

Has Your Dog Been Exposed?

Does your dog go to places of higher risk?

  • Doggy Daycare
  • Kennels
  • Training/Obedience Classes
  • Dog Shows
  • Groomer
  • Dog Parks (less risky)

Key Points about Dog Flu

  • Transmission
    • Canine influenza is passed from dog to dog by close contact (aerosol transmission) or contaminated environment.
    • Canine influenza does not affect people.
    • From time of exposure, it takes 2-4 days for a dog to get sick. Once sick, a dog can infect other dogs for about 6 days, then the virus typically is cleared.

  • Diagnosis
    • CIV can diagnosed with nasal swabs (PCR test) during the first 3 days of illness.
    • An antibody test can be done if the dog has been sick for over 7 days.
    • X-rays +/- blood tests needed if pneumonia is suspected.

  • Treatment
    • Isolate positive dog to prevent further spread of disease.
    • Antibiotics may be needed.
    • Most dogs are treated as outpatients (we don’t want the virus living in our hospital).

  • The main complication of CIV is bacterial infection of the lungs (pneumonia). If severe, pneumonia can cause death (about 5% of all cases).

  • Prognosis is generally good for uncomplicated cases.

Please call us at (608) 845-6700 to make sure your dog is up to date on its vaccines and to discuss if the CIV vaccine is appropriate for your pet.

"Even Dogs Get the Flu" - Video by Novibac Canine Flu H3N8 Vaccine