Canine Influenza (H3N8) DOG FLU

History: First isolated at the University of Florida in 2004. It has since spread to over 30 states including Texas and is growing. All dogs are at risk.

Morbidity and Mortality: Up to 80% of exposed dogs contract the disease and exhibit clinical symptoms of fever, cough and runny nose. Reports of 1% – 5% of infected victims die from related hemorrhagic pneumonia. Because this is a brand new virus there is no inherent immunity in the pet dog population.

How does dog flu spread? Canine influenza virus is spread by direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs, by contra contaminated objects and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. Dogs are shedding the virus before they exhibit clinical symptoms.

What should dog owners do? Have your dog vaccinated immediately by your veterinarian or attend a low-cost vaccination clinic at the Humane Society. A new Canine Influenza Vaccine H3N8 killed virus was released in April 2009. Protocol is a two shot series two weeks apart and then annual boosters. There have been no reported side effects.

Cost: Being that this is a new vaccine it is relatively expensive compared to other vaccines. Local veterinarians are charging $25 – $50 per vaccination, two shot series $50-$100.

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