1. CIV H3N8 - first reported in greyhounds in 2003. Since then, CIV H3N8 has spread to at least 41 other states. This virus is of equine origin and can be difficult to diagnose.
2. CIV H3N2 - recently found in the United States. This virus is of avian origin and spread to 30 states by April 2016.
Most unvaccinated dogs are susceptible to infection by both viruses. Neither virus is infectious to humans, but as with human influenza, the best protection against canine influenza is vaccination. It's also important to note that canine influenza is not seasonal like the human flu.
Are certain dogs at greater risk for infection? Any dog can be at risk for canine influenza regardless of age, sex or breed. However, certain activities can raise your dog's risk of infection. Answer the risk assessment questions later in this article to determine whether your dog might be at a higher risk.
How is canine influenza spread? Canine influenza spreads the same way as the common cold in humans. Canine influenza viruses are most commonly spread through direct dog contact (sniffing, licking, nuzzling), through the air (coughing and sneezing), via contaminated surfaces (sharing water bowls or toys), or through contaminated humans (with viruses on their clothes or hands).
Where could my dog catch canine influenza? The more your dog socializes with other dogs, the higher the risk of contracting canine influenza and other infectious respiratory diseases.
What are the clinical signs of canine influenza? Most cases of canine influenza are mild. However, up to 20% of infected dogs will have moderate to severe illness. The common clinical signs of canine influenza are:
- coughing and retching
- nasal and/or ocular discharge
- decreased appetite
QUICKLY ASSESS YOUR DOG'S RISK
Does your dog:
- visit doggie day care?
- board at a boarding facility or pet hotel?
- attend training classes?
- play at dog parks?
- participate in dog-friendly events?
- attend dog shows or sporting events?
- visit a groomer or the local pet store?
- often greet other dogs during walks?