Just like people, dogs can get canine influenza (CIV)—and also just like people, social individuals are at greater risk of contracting the virus. Dogs that interact with other dogs at daycare, grooming, or dog parks, or who are regularly groomed are the most vulnerable.
When infected, dogs experience fever, coughing, sneezing, and a general unwell feeling. In elderly dogs and those with compromised immune systems or pre-existing respiratory conditions, CIV can lead to secondary infections and even death.
There are two highly contagious strains of the virus—H3N2 and H3N8—and no dog is immune. Over the last year, CIV was reported in 46 states, including Connecticut.
Preventing exposure is crucial, especially for senior dogs and those with chronic illness. In addition, most boarding facilities require that dogs be inoculated against CIV. The good news is we offer a bivalent vaccine that protects against both strains.