Let's talk about canine influenza.

What is canine influenza?
The canine influenza virus is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs. The virus is transmitted through aerosolized respiratory secretions from coughing, barking and sneezing and can remain viable on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Dogs who are exposed to closely confined conditions (boarding kennels, day care settings, dog park or animal shelters/rescues) are at higher risk for infection. You may have heard canine influenza mentioned in the news recently, because a new strain of canine influenza- referred to as H3N2, as opposed to the older version of the virus, which is termed H3N8- has emerged in the last two or three years. The new virus was a bit more dangerous initially, simply because tests and vaccinations for it did not exist at the time, though they are available now. 

What are the symptoms?
The clinical signs for this illness are often mistaken for the traditional “kennel cough.” The majority of infected patients will exhibit some or all of the following symptoms: cough, lethargy, fever, nasal discharge, ocular discharge and decreased appetite. 

Map from DogFlu.com - click for more detailed information.

Is my dog at risk?
As of May 2017, canine influenza has been confirmed in 46 states and continues to spread. Although Santa Fe is not in a high-risk area, if you travel with your pets or if they are in close contact with other dogs of unknown vaccine history, we strongly urge you to consider vaccinating them against this virus. We offer a vaccination that combines both H3N2 and H3N8, so your pet will be protected against both the "old" and "new" versions of the virus.