Several years ago, canine influenza hit Florida, and since it’s initial inception, it has morphed into two strains, H3N8 and H3N2. This year alone, the number of dogs infected with the influenza virus is exorbitant. That’s why Best Friends Animal Hospital now offers the Bivalent Canine Influenza vaccine series and they are requiring their boarding patients to be vaccinated. The Bivalent Canine Influenza vaccine protects against both strains of the flu.
Flu Vaccine Benefits:
• Decreases sneezing and nasal discharge
• Reduces coughing
• Decreases depression
• Enhances immunity
• Shortens illness length if infected
How is it Spread & How Does the Flu Affect my Dog?
The vast spread of the virus is most likely due to owners traveling with and socializing their pets. Just like the flu virus in humans, the canine version can spread rapidly. If a dog sneezes and the airborne particles reach another dog, either through directly breathing in of the virus spores or through indirect contamination of bodily fluids on hard surfaces, this increases the odds of cross contamination.
The canine flu is contaminating dogs that are typically more socialized. For example, dogs that are boarded, go to training or obedience school, attend doggie daycare, play at dog parks, attend dog shows, or are walked by someone that takes multiple dogs at once from the neighborhood.
The symptoms of H3N2 & H3N8 are the following:
• A runny nose
• Decreased appetite
• Body aches
Although, no one wants their dog to encounter the flu, influenza symptoms typically last 10-14 days, and in most cases, the dog can heal on its own with little difficulty. However, if you have an elderly dog or a puppy, or if your dog’s immune system is low due to disease or other disorders than their complications could be life-threatening. Since a vaccination is now available through your veterinarian. This vaccine series could lessen the symptoms if your dog did, in fact, become infected with the virus.
If you suspect that your dog has the flu, please let your veterinarian’s office know beforehand so that they can make arrangements for your dog to be escorted privately away from other pets. After your pet has been treated, the room will be decontaminated for the next pet to be seen safely.
Additionally, if your dog is sick, immunotherapy injections or supplements may help to fight off the virus more quickly. But keep in mind, just like with humans, other than the preventative vaccination, there is no treatment for influenza.
It’s always best to get your furry friends vaccinated.
Animal Oasis Veterinary Hospital
At Animal Oasis Veterinary Hospital in Naples, we believe our clients and patients are the heart of our practice. We strive to ensure a happy experience through superior customer service, personalized care, and effective state-of-the-art medicine. It is our mission to ensure our patients enjoy a lifetime of good health.
If you believe your pet may have the disease, or if you’d like to know more about getting your pet vaccinated, please call Animal Oasis Veterinary Hospital at 239-431-9667.