There are two strains of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) currently circulating in the United States—-H3N2 and H3N8 (the letters and numbers refer to surface proteins on the surfaces of the viruses). Both are types of “Influenza A” viruses. H3N8 likely mutated from the Equine Influenza Virus around the turn of the century (1999-2004). H3N2 likely mutated from the Avian Influenza strains in the mid-2000s.
Outbreaks of Canine Influenza have been fairly isolated, but recently there have been confirmed cases in Texas and the Tulsa, OK, area. Infected dogs may show no symptoms at all, but most present as a more severe form of “Kennel Cough.” Progression to pneumonia and death have been noted in some cases.
Several vaccines are available—-some require separate injections of H3N2 & H3N8, while others combine the two strains. Here at PMC, we carry a combination vaccine from Zoetis called VANGUARD® CIV H3N2/H3N8
The decision to immunize any animal is a “Risk/Benefit” analysis, as every vaccine/immunization has potential risks associated with its administration. Consider immunizing any dog going into a “commingling” situation—especially large boarding facilities, but also grooming, training, dog parks, and even visits to a veterinary clinic. Supplies of all Caine Influenza Vaccines are limited. Protective Immunity is achieved after two doses (priming dose and booster dose) separated by three weeks—–preferably, delay the commingling event until seven days have passed since the second/booster dose of the vaccine. The need for future vaccination has not been established, but it should likely be dosed once annually.
Please contact Pet Medical Center at 405-348-6580 if you’d like to schedule the vaccination process.