Dog Flu

2015 - This new strain of dog flu

Although the dog flu, Canine Influenza (CI), has been prominent in the Chicago area, there have been no cases reported in Iowa. The virus is highly contagious between dogs but there is no evidence it can be transmitted from dogs to humans. This new strain of dog flu is caused by a virus closely related to Asian strains of influenza A H3N2 viruses.

How dogs catch the flu

The virus is transferred from dog to dog through the air in sneezes or by fluids when they touch wet noses. Humans can also carry this new strain for several hours. "A person could carry it on his hands, his clothes, so you always want to be careful if you're around strange dogs," said Dr. Randy Wheeler, medical director at the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association (from the KCCI story below).

Symptoms of dog flu

If your dog has been exposed to a dog that does have the dog flu, contact us if your dog has any of the following symptoms:

  • • soft, moist cough or a dry cough similar to kennel cough
  • • nasal and/or eye discharge
  • • sneezing
  • • lethargy, fatigue
  • • lack of appetite
  • • low-grade fever (normal temperature for dogs is 100 - 102.5 degrees F)

Vaccine for dog flu

Currently there is no vaccine for this new strain of dog flu. Although there are vaccines for H3N8, a strain of dog flu which has been around for 40 years, those vaccines do not produce immunity for this new strain of dog flu.

More resources about the dog flu

Of course, call us if you have any questions or concerns about your dog and the dog flu. If you'd like to learn more, here are a few additional references to check out.

Watch the KCCI story with Dr. Randy Wheeler talking about the dog flu