Friday, May 29, 2015

Dog Flu! What should I do? Get the facts about Canine Influenza Virus!

Recent public attention regarding the Canine Influenza Virus “dog flu” has lead many of our clients to ask questions about the disease, its prevention and the potential risk of the virus to their pets.
 This new virus is different from the previous strain of dog flu, H3N8, that's been circulating in the United States since 2004. The new strain, known as H3N2, is believed to have originated in China and Korea and was brought into the U.S. by an infected animal. Cases have been seen in highly trafficked cities such as Chicago and has recorded incidence of spreading.

 Based on clinical signs, there is no way to distinguish this new canine influenza from other respiratory diseases.  The incubation period is 1-3 days from your pet’s exposure to the onset of clinical signs which can include symptoms similar to the human flu such as coughing, nasal discharge, fever, loss of appetite, as well as a variety of other symptoms.

 The virus is spread through nose-to-nose contact with other dogs, which can occur at doggy day cares, animal hospitals, dog parks, groomer etc. Objects that have come in contact with infected animal such as clothing can also spread the virus. While a few pharmaceutical companies have started working on a vaccine for this latest “dog flu” strain (H3N2), it will likely be months before it becomes available.

 However, there is a vaccine for the H3N8 canine influenza strain.  Experts do not know for sure if this vaccine protects against the newest “dog flu” strain. Though, due to its highly contagious nature and potential for significant health risks to your canine family member, as a precautionary measure, VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital now requires an influenza vaccination for all boarding dogs and elective surgical procedures.

 The vaccination requires a series of two injections, 2 to 4 weeks apart.  In an effort to lessen the financial burden in our practice we are waiving the office visit charge for both injections if seen during our clinic or vaccination appointment hours. 

Walk-in Vaccine Clinic hours are
Monday-Thursday and Saturday between 3:00p- 6:00pm in our Annex. Appointments can be scheduled  Monday-Saturday from  8:00a-12pm .

 Please remember, cross protection between the vaccine and the new flu virus strain is not proven but we firmly believe that this protocol is the best protection for your pet.

 The experts at VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital are always available to discuss any questions and concerns you have about your pet's health!

Learn more about CIV and it's trek around our world.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! It is our priority to educate our pet community to help them be the best caregivers possible!