CANINE H3N2 INFLUENZA – Precautions Needed (Please Share)
There have been a few confirmed cases of the highly contagious H3N2 Canine Influenza in Georgia recently. Though we have not seen any cases at our hospitals, we are still urging dog owners to be aware of any upper respiratory symptoms your dog may be exhibiting- which resemble the same symptoms as human flu – lethargy, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and/or eyes etc. If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, please call your veterinarian for instructions. Typically with supportive care, the symptoms will resolve after two weeks, however the affected dog will remain contagious for four weeks, and therefore should be kept away from areas where other dogs will be.
There is an annual H3N2 vaccine, which many dogs have already had due to the outbreak we had in 2015. We especially recommend this vaccine to dogs that are frequently around other dogs, dog parks, boarding, grooming, etc. It is also recommended for older and immunosuppressed dogs. It is best to check with your veterinarian to see if they recommend this vaccine for your specific dog, as it will depend on their health and lifestyle.
We will continue to keep you updated.