Canine Influenza

Dog flu is on the rise nationwide and there have been confirmed cases in the state of Washington as well as outbreaks in California and Oregon.

We are committed to providing up to date information about pet care.​

What is dog flu?

Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is caused by canine influenza virus (CIV) Type A. There are 2 known strains in the United States: H3N8 and H3N2. Most unvaccinated dogs are susceptible to infection by both viruses.

Which dogs are at risk?

Any dog can be at risk for canine influenza regardless of age, sex, or breed. However, dogs that visit doggie day cares, boarding kennels, dog parks or attend dog events are at more risk.  Dogs who travel are also at risk.

How is canine influenza spread?

Canine influenza spreads the same way as the common cold in humans.
These viruses are most commonly spread through direct dog contact (sniffing, licking, nuzzling); through the air (coughing and sneezing); via contaminated surfaces (sharing water bowls or toys); or through contaminated humans (with viruses on their hands or clothing).

Where could my dog catch canine influenza?

The more your dog socializes with other dogs, the higher the risk of contracting canine influenza and other infectious respiratory diseases.

What are the clinical signs of canine influenza?

Most cases of canine influenza are mild. However, up to 20% of infected dogs will have moderate to severe illness. The most common signs include:

  • Coughing and retching (dry heaving)
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal and/or ocular discharge
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

Facts on Influenza

  • Virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours.
  • May take 2-8 days for symptoms to manifest once exposed.
  • Pet can remain infected for 4-6 weeks even after recovery.
  • 20% of dogs are “virus shedders” which means they are infected, however do NOT show any clinical signs/symptoms.
  • Small percentage if left untreated can result in death.

Please consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns.