Does your dog need a flu shot?
Canine influenza (dog flu) is relatively new disease that was first identified in racing Greyhounds in Florida in 2004. The dog flu is believed to have arisen from an equine strain of virus that was initially transmitted from horses to dogs and then established itself as a canine pathogen.
Humans cannot catch the dog flu, but they can spread the the virus through their clothes. 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.
Dog flu causes an acute respiratory infection. Signs of the flu may be coughing, runny nose, fever, discharge from the eyes, and general malaise. Canine influenza can occur year-round. It appears clinically similar to “kennel cough”, and therefore is commonly misdiagnosed.
Do dogs die from canine influenza?
Fatal cases of pneumonia resulting from infection with canine influenza virus have been reported in dogs, but the fatality rate (5% to 8%) has been low so far.
Is there a vaccine available to prevent dog flu?
Yes. McPherson Veterinary Clinic has a flu vaccine to control the disease associated with canine influenza virus infection.
Should my dog get the flu shot?
The canine influenza vaccine is a “lifestyle” vaccine, and is not recommended for every dog. Dogs that are candidates include ones that are at risk for exposure to the flu virus. Dog lifestyles that include activities with many other dogs or who are being boarded (including grooming/daycare services). If your dog has received a kennel cough vaccine, the flu vaccine may benefit your dog due to similar risk groups.