There have been several confirmed cases of H3N2 strain of canine influenza at the recent dog show at the Volusia County Fairgrounds. We have not diagnosed any cases at our hospital. This virus affects dogs only. Like most flu viruses, canine influenza is a highly contagious airborne pathogen. Symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever, nasal and ocular discharge can be similar to other upper respiratory diseases, but the clinical signs can be much more severe, progressing into pneumonia and potentially death. There is no treatment for canine influenza and most critical cases would be referred to the University of Florida for supportive care.
In an effort to protect the dogs in our community, the veterinarians at Countryside Animal Clinic recommend the influenza vaccine for high risk dogs. A vaccination protocol with properly scheduled booster vaccines is the only way to decrease the incidence and severity of canine influenza. Social dogs that visit dog parks, grooming facilities, boarding kennels, and compete in shows are at risk. Older dogs, dogs with other illnesses, and short-nosed dogs are most at risk.
Please call to schedule an appointment to vaccinate your dog for canine influenza. Every patient will receive a full physical exam and consultation with a veterinarian. Do not hesitate to call Countryside’s veterinary care team with any questions or concerns regarding the health and well-being of your pets.