animal shelter avma blog cat CAT FOOD RECALL cat friendly practice cats chocolate dog Dog Bite dog blood drive dog food recall dog safety flea health heartworm lyme lyme disease microchip montco montgomery county montgomery county spca norristown Norristown Vet Norristown Veterinarian norristown veterinary nutrition pet dental pet diabetes pet food Pet Food Recall pet microchip pets pet safety rabies red paw emergency relief Red Paw Emergency Relief Team safety staff tick trooper vet veterinarian veterinary veterinary technician Xylitol
All posts categorized as Canine Influenza:

Canine Influenza: Pet Owners’ Guide

The following was written by the AVMA and we wanted to share it.  Please let. us know if you have any questions.

Canine Influenza: Pet Owners' Guide


Canine influenza (CI, or dog flu) is caused by the canine influenza virus (CIV), an influenza A virus. It is highly contagious and easily spread from infected dogs to other dogs by direct contact, nasal secretions (through barking, coughing or sneezing), contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. Dogs of any breed, age, sex or health status are at risk of infection when exposed to the virus.

Currently, two strains of CIV have been identified in the U.S. The H3N8 strain of canine influenza was first identified in 2004 in Florida. Since then, it has been found in several other states. In 2015, the H3N2 virus strain was identified as the cause of an outbreak of canine influenza in Chicago. The virus was known to exist in Asia, but the 2015 outbreak was the first report of the H3N2 virus affecting dogs outside of Asia.

Canine influenza can occur year round. So far, there is no evidence that canine influenza infects people. 

Canine influenza and cats 

In early 2016, a group of cats in an Indiana shelter ​ were infected with H3N2 canine influenza (passed to them by infected dogs). The findings suggested that cat-to-cat transmission was possible. Cats infected with H3N2 canine influenza show symptoms of upper respiratory illness, including a runny nose, congestion, malaise, lip smacking and excessive salivation.

Canine influenza symptoms and diagnosis 

The symptoms of a CIV infection resemble those of canine infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough").   Dogs infected with CIV develop a persistent cough and may develop a thick nasal discharge and fever (often 104-105oF). Other signs can include lethargy, eye discharge and reduced appetite. Canine influenza infections can cause mild to severe illness in dogs. Some infected dogs may not show any signs of illness, but can still be contagious and able to infect other dogs

Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks. However, some dogs may develop secondary bacterial infections which may lead to more severe illness and pneumonia. Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health, or whose pet is showing signs of canine influenza, should contact their veterinarian.

Laboratory tests are available to diagnose both H3N8 and H3N2 CIV. Consult your veterinarian for more information regarding testing for CIV.

Transmission and prevention of canine influenza

Dogs infected with CIV are most contagious during the two- to four- day virus incubation period, when they shed the virus in their nasal secretions but do not show signs of illness. The virus is highly contagious and almost all dogs exposed to CIV will become infected. The majority (80%) of infected dogs develop flu-like illness. The mortality (death) rate from CIV is low (less than 10%).

To reduce the spread of CIV, isolate dogs that are sick or showing signs of a respiratory illness, and isolate dogs known to have been exposed to an infected dog.

Isolate dogs infected with H3N2 canine influenza for at least 21 days​ and dogs infected with H3N8 CIV for at least 7 days.  Practice good hygiene and sanitation, including hand washing and thorough cleaning of shared items and kennels, to reduce the spread of CIV. Influenza viruses do not usually survive in the environment beyond 48 hours and are inactivated or killed by commonly used disinfectants.

Vaccines are available for both the H3N8 and H3N2 strains of canine influenza virus. The CIV vaccination is a "lifestyle" vaccination, recommended for dogs at risk of exposure due to their increased exposure to other dogs – such as boarding, attending social events with dogs present, and visiting dog parks. Your veterinarian can provide you with additional information about the vaccines and whether you should consider vaccinating your dog.  

Canine Influenza – What You Need to Know



What is it?

Canine influenza virus (CIV) causes respiratory symptoms similar to those experienced by humans with flu, including cough, sneezing, lethargy, fever, and discharge from the nose and eyes.  There are two known influenza viruses that can infect and spread between dogs in the United States.  The two viruses, CIV H3N8 and CIV H3N2, are detailed in the graphic below.

Canine Influenza in the United States (courtesy of Zoetis Inc.)













Canine Influenza in the United States (courtesy of Zoetis Inc.)


Is there a vaccine for Canine Influenza?

YES.  There are now vaccines available in the US for both CIV H3N2 and CIV H3N8.  Although both types of CIV are H3 viruses and share some common traits, it is important to understand that they are different viruses requiring separate vaccinations.  To date there is no information indicating that dogs vaccinated for one type will be protected for the other.


Can Canine Influenza viruses infect humans?

There have been no known cases of these influenza viruses infecting humans.


CIV Transmission

CIV is spread via aerosolized respiratory secretions and contaminated objects.  Most importantly, when dogs are infected with CIV they will go through an incubation period of approximately 2-5 days.  During this time they may appear to be healthy; however, they can be shedding virus and are capable of infecting other dogs.  Two clinical syndromes have been seen in dogs infected with the canine influenza virus – a mild form of the disease and a more severe form that is accompanied by pneumonia.

  • Mild form – Dogs suffering with the mild form of canine influenza develop a soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days.  They may also be lethargic and have reduced appetite and a fever.  Sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose may also be observed.  Some dogs have a dry cough similar to the traditional "kennel cough" caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica/parainfluenza virus complex.  Dogs with the mild form of influenza may also have thick nasal discharge, which is usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection.
  • Severe form – Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza develop high fevers (104F to 106F) and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort.  Pneumonia may be due to a secondary bacterial infection.

Cats can also be infected with H3N2 canine influenza show signs of upper respiratory illness, such as runny nose, congestion, malaise, lip smacking and excessive salivation.


Are all dogs at risk of getting Canine Influenza?

Because this is still an emerging disease and dogs in the US have not been exposed to it before, almost all dogs, regardless of breed or age, lack immunity to it and are susceptible to infection if exposed to the active virus.  Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected and nearly 80% show clinical signs of disease, though most exhibit the mild form.  There have been fatal cases of pneumonia resulting from infection with the canine influenza virus, but the fatality rate is low (less than 10%).  Most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks.

Canine influenze vaccines are considered "lifestyle" vaccines, meaning the decision to vaccinate is based on a dog's risk of exposure.  The "at risk" population includes dogs that are kenneled, show dogs, dogs that go to groomers/dog parks/doggie daycare or dogs that have exposure to other dogs.  If you are not sure if your dog should be vaccinated, contact us to determine whether a vaccination is needed.  If you choose to board your dog with us, we strongly recommend at least the new H3N2 Canine Influenza Vaccine be administered for all dogs.  It is a two vaccine series given three weeks apart and it takes a week after the second vaccine to acquire full immunity.


What are the clinical signs?

Clinical signs include coughing, sneezing, lethargy, fever, and discharge from the nose or eyes.  Most dogs infected with CIV will only experience a mild upper respiratory tract illness and recover within a few days.  Dogs with more severe cases of influenza are often suffering from additional viral or bacterial infections.


What should I do?

If your dog becomes ill, please call us!  Many different viruses and bacteria can cause clinical signs similar to canine influenza.  If your dog is ill, keep it away from other dogs.  Voluntary quarantine for 5-7 days will help prevent transmission of most cases of canine respiratory illness, including canine influenza.


Want more information?

The American Veterinary Medical Association has helpful resources for pet owners.  For a pet owner's guide to canine influenza, click here:  For FAQ's on canine influenza, click here:

For more technical information, you can access the Cornell University website here:

Thanks to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's Baker Institute for Animal Health for this informative graphic: