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Posted on 06-27-2017

The New Canine Influenza: What is it? How is it spread? How do you protect your dog?
Canine Influenza
Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory viral disease affecting dogs. There are two known strains in the US, CIV H3N8 and CIV H3N2.
Canine influenza is transmitted through droplets or aerosols containing respiratory secretions.  Symptoms include; coughing, sneezing, nasal/ocular discharge, fever, decreased appetite or lethargy.
CI can be spread indirectly through objects (e.g., kennels, food and water bowls, collars and leashes) or people that have been in contact with infected dogs.  As the virus can remain infectious up to 48 hours after shedding, it is important to clean and disinfect objects that have been in contact with an infected dog to avoid exposing other dogs to the virus. Likewise, people who have been in contact with an infected dog should wash their hands and clean their clothing to avoid spreading the virus.
Unvaccinated dogs are susceptible to infection by both viruses; however there have currently been no known cases of transfer of canine influenza virus to humans.
Dogs in close contact with infected dogs in places such as kennels, groomers, day care facilities and shelters are at increased risk of infection. The best way to prevent infection is through vaccination.  The influenza vaccines series requires two initial boosters and an annual booster after that. Even if your dog has been vaccinated for the old influenza strain (H3N8) we recommend vaccinating against H3N2 strain as well. 
Please contact your veterinarian to get scheduled today!
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Advanced Animal Care of Colorado 

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