Since the spring of 2017, the H3N2 strain of the Canine Influenza virus has been spreading across the country. In November 2017, the first officially identified case was diagnosed in Cincinnati. Dog owners have many questions regarding this virus. Below are some of the most common questions and their answers. For further information, refer to the AVMA and CDC websites (links below) or contact the doctors or staff at Clermont Animals Hospital at 513-732-1730.
What is Canine Influenza?
What are the Signs of Canine Influenza in Infected Dogs?
What Dogs are Considered At-Risk for Contracting the Disease?
Should my Dog be Vaccinated?
Can Humans or other Animals Get Canine Influenza?
What Should I do if I Suspect that my Dog has Influenza?
Q: What is Canine Influenza?
A: Canine Influenza is a form of the influenza virus that has mutated to affect dogs. There are currently two strains of Canine Influenza: H3N8 and H3N2. The H3N8 strain first became a problem in 2004 in the racing Greyhound population. It has since then spread throughout the country, but is currently mostly a concern in shelter situations. The H3N2 strain emerged in Asia and was first introduced into the United States in March 2015. An outbreak of this strain hit the Cincinnati area hard in the second half of 2015. A new wave of the virus has been circulating throughout the Eastern United States since May 2017. The first case was confirmed in Cincinnati in November 2017.
Q: What are the signs of Canine Influenza in infected dogs?
A: When a dog is infected with the H3N2 strain of Canine Influenza, there are three possible presentations of signs:
Q: What dogs are considered at-risk for contracting the disease?
A: Because canine influenza is a newly emergent disease, few unvaccinated dogs have any natural immunity to the illness. Approximately 80% of dogs exposed to canine influenza will develop the infection. Because this is an air-borne disease, and because it is now present in the Cincinnati area, all dogs that come into contact with other dogs are considered at-risk. While a dog may not go to a boarding or grooming facility, if the neighbor’s dog does and becomes a subclinical carrier, the disease can be spread unknowingly to other dogs in the neighborhood. The following information will help identify the level of risk:
Q: Should my dog be vaccinated?
A: Currently, Clermont Animal Hospital is recommending vaccination for any dogs with direct or indirect contact with other dogs. The doctors at Clermont Animal Hospital are happy to discuss the current status of Canine Influenza in the area and help determine vaccination recommendations on a case-by-case basis. Refer to the risk categories above to help determine the importance of vaccination. For any animal who has never been vaccinated for influenza or received only the H3N8 vaccine (prior to July 2017), a series of two vaccinations 2-4 weeks apart will provide the best protection.
Q: Can humans or other animals get Canine Influenza?
A: So far, shelter cats housed in the same shelter as dogs infected in an influenza outbreak are the only other species to contract the H3N2 strain of Canine Influenza; however, because the influenza virus frequently mutates, it is recommended that any immune compromised human not have exposure to a dog with a current influenza infection.
Q: What should I do if I suspect my dog has influenza?
A: If you suspect your dog has influenza or has signs that could be influenza, it is important to do the following:
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Batavia, Ohio 45103
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I am so thankful for Dr. Esposito helping to keep my dogs healthy!! When yogi had to have surgery on his paw and I had questions (even over the holidays) after the surgery, she personally called me back directly and ensured I was giving the proper post-op care. I appreciated the follow up and am so glad he is doing better!
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