Should You Vaccinate Your Dog Against The Dog Flu?

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sick-dog-by-kojach.jpg Did you know there is a dog flu virus called H3N8?

H3N8 is more than just the dog flu.

This particular strain is a variation of the horse flu. This dog flu virus was first discovered in 2004 in the Greyhound racing community and has since spread to household dogs.

We do not use the general term “dog flu” because it could refer to any flu-like illness in dogs due to various causes. Rather, canine influenza is a specific disease caused by a particular subtype, H3N8, of the influenza A virus. Source

Since this is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not built up an immunity to it.

Veterinarians are urging pet owners to get their dogs vaccinated against the H3N8 virus.  They say that anywhere from 8% to 10% of dogs that get sick from dog flu may die from it.

The cost to vaccinate your dog against canine influenza is between $25 and $60. After that, you would simply include a dog flu booster shot with your dog’s annual vaccinationsin order  to prevent your dog from getting the dog flu each year.

For Bartley Morrisroe, 32, and his girlfriend, Melanie Caduhada, 25, when their vet recommended the flu shot for their 17-month-old French bulldog Marnie, it was a no-brainer. The young pup has already suffered through 2 bouts of life-threatening pneumonia, requiring her to be hospitalized and put on a respirator, leading to $8,000 worth of vet bills. Now, when it comes to contagious diseases, they don’t take any chances. “I’d rather go for 2 shots than take the risk of her getting something serious,” explains Morrisroe, a law student, who says the vaccine cost them $60 in total. Source


Canine Influenza Virus Symptoms & Treatment

Canine influenza is a contagious viral infection of dogs, caused by Influenza Virus A subtype H3N8.

The symptoms of dog flu are pretty much like human flu symptoms:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • coughing

The risk associated with dog flu can be serious:

  • About 80% of dogs contract a mild form of influenza. It’s definitely a health inconvenience, but with good vet care and some antibiotics they fully recover within 2 weeks.
  • About 20% of dogs with dog flu have more serious cases that lead to complications and secondary infections, like pneumonia.
  • About 1% to 5% of dog flu cases can lead to death.

Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease has affected thousands of dogs in the United States. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed to it before. Dogs of any age, breed and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection. Source

Remember, if your dog is sick you need to keep him away from healthy dogs so they don’t catch whatever he’s got — especially if it’s the dog flu!

Canine influenza is a hardy virus that can be spread by attaching to your clothing, your dog’s food & water bowls, dog collars, leashes, and toys.

If you think your dog might be sick, but your vet’s office is closed, then find a pet emergency treatment center near you.


More About Dog Flu


I have 2 Miniature Pinschers. My husband and I consider them our 4-legged kids.

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