Do I need to worry about Canine Influenza?
Influenza is a highly contagious virus that causes infections of variable severity: self-limiting and mild to severe pneumonia and/or sepsis resulting in death.
- At this time (2017) Canine Influenza has NOT been confirmed in Oklahoma.
- There are many variants that can possibly infect dogs but the most common variants (H3N8 and H3N2) have a vaccine that can help prevent severe disease but do not prevent infection.
- H3N8 was first seen in the US in an outbreak between 2003-2005 and is believed to originate from a mutation of the equine influenza A H3N8 subtype.
- H3N2 was the cause of a 2015 outbreak in the US and appears to originate from an avian H3N2 subtype.
- The virus is spread in areas of crowding or high-population: boarding, dog parks, shelters, etc. At this time Quail Creek does not require the Influenza vaccine for boarding, but check with your boarding, grooming, and day care facility to see if they recommend or require it.
- Quail Creek has the bivalent vaccine (for both H3N8 and H3N2 variants). The vaccine should be given initially and then followed by an additional booster 2-4 weeks later, the series should be completed 2 weeks prior to possible exposure for optimal protection. This vaccine should be given yearly.
- If your dog travels to a state with a recent outbreak and will have contact with other dogs (boarding, day care, etc.) we would recommend being vaccinated prior to travel.
- Illness can occur as quickly as 2-4 days after exposure viral and shedding can last up to 10 days for H3N8 subtypes and up to 24 days for H3N2 subtypes. Your dog can spread the virus even before he/she shows evidence of disease and can continue to be infectious to other dogs even after the symptoms have passed!
- If your dog may have been exposed to Influenza we should test them for the virus as soon as possible and if positive your dog will need to be quarantined from other dogs and watched closely for more severe disease.