CANINE INFLUENZA UPDATE
There are 2 strains of the Canine Influenza (Dog Flu) Virus infecting dogs. The H3N8 strain has been in the US since 2008. A newer strain, H3N2, entered Chicago from Asia early in 2015. Some of these dogs infected with the H3N2 strain were becoming seriously ill, some developed pneumonia, and some dogs even died. It was not known at first in the spring of last year that there was a 2nd strain. The only vaccine that was available during the outbreak in Chicago and the suburbs in 2015 was the H3N8 vaccine. Once the 2nd strain of the Influenza virus was discovered, it was not known if the H3N8 vaccine would have cross protection against the H3N2 strain.
Recently, it was determined that there is no cross protection with the H3N8 vaccine and the H3N2 virus.
Normally it takes about 2 to 3 years to get a new vaccine approved with all the research, development, testing, and experimental trials needed. Recently 3 veterinary pharmaceutical companies received conditional approval from the FDA for a new separate vaccine that protects against the H3N2 strain.
We now carry both Canine Influenza vaccines to protect dogs against both strains, H3N8 and H3N2.
Due to the highly contagious nature of Canine Influenza, we are recommending that all dogs in social situations or that go to areas that dogs frequent, get vaccinated against both strains. These places include boarding kennels/hospitals, dog groomers, dog parks, day care, training classes and dog shows.
Please contact our hospital for more information or to schedule an appointment.