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Does My Dog Need A Flu Shot

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What Vaccinations Does My Adult Dog Need

How do you protect your pet from dog flu?

Veterinary science, in conjunction with industry, has done a great job developing vaccines that are very safe and effective preventive measures. Vaccines keep your dog protected from serious infectious diseases. Diseases that, just a few years ago, were epidemics are now less common. It’s not just a matter of more vaccines but also better vaccines that are more specific, provide longer protection, and allow your veterinarian to make recommendations appropriate for your pet.

Not all dogs need to be vaccinated for all diseases all the time. There are two general groupings of vaccinations: those that target core diseases and those that target non-core diseases. Core vaccinationsCore vaccinations prevent diseases that are extremely widespread in their distribution and are easily transmitted. These diseases are commonly fatal or extremely difficult to treat effectively. One core diseaserabies, can be transmitted to humans with potentially deadly results. In summary, core diseases are the more contagious and severe diseases.

Core vaccines provide long term immunity, making yearly vaccination unnecessary. Core vaccines include:

These vaccines generally provide a shorter length of protective immunity, and dogs that are at risk for infection should be vaccinated every year.

How can you determine your dogs risk of infection?

Should You Get A Dog Flu Vaccine For Your Pooch

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Should you consider getting a dog flu vaccine for your pooch? Its a really good question, especially since many dog parents may not even know that there is such a thing as dog flu. Jack Thomson, the co-founder of Dailydogstuff, is joining us to talk about the virus that causes it as well as pros and cons of the vaccine. As always, please talk to your vet about your vet before making a decision about whether or not to vaccinate. This is intended as an informative article and not meant as medical advice. We know that vaccines are a controversial topic among dog parents and we cant make decisions for your dog. Only you can! Now read on to find out more about the dog flu and what you can do to prevent it in your pooch.

They Want You To Buy Their Vaccine

As well as the scary epidemic maps showing that the flu is nearly everywhere, Merck tries to mislead you by saying up to eight percent of critically ill dogs may die from complications. Eight percent sounds high until you realize its eight percent of critically ill dogs, not of all dogs who get the flu. Most dogs who get the flu dont become critically ill. And if they do, 92 percent sounds like quite a good recovery rate from a critically ill state.

And check out the drama in this paragraph in one of their press releases:

The whole website is designed to make you want to vaccinate your dog. They tell you how easily the disease spreads and how most dogs are susceptible .

And then theres the cute little puppet dog video starring Mutt Damon telling his doggy daycare pals you dont have to get the flu your vets got a vaccine for canine flu!

So is dog flu really that dangerous?

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So Do Dogs Need A Flu Shot

As recommended, discussion with your veterinarian regarding vaccination for influenza is warranted, especially in the previously mentioned higher risk groups. Also, owners of boarding and daycare facilities may require vaccination of dogs frequenting their establishments due to the high amount of effort required to properly sanitize and quarantine as well as the possible high economic loss. In general, dogs that participate in events and social activities should be fully vaccinated for core vaccines as well as Bordetella and canine influenza.

Just like humans, its best to get your dog a flu shot each year. To be fully vaccinated against influenza, dogs should receive two initial sets of vaccinations followed by a yearly booster.

How Is Canine Influenza In Dogs Treated

Does My Dog Need a Flu Shot?  WINPRO Blood Protein ...

Treatment largely consists of supportive care which helps to keep the dog hydrated and comfortable while its body then mounts an immune response to the infection to facilitate recovery. In the milder form of the disease, this care may include medication to make your dog be more comfortable and fluids to ensure that your dog remains well-hydrated. Broad spectrum antibiotics may be prescribed by your veterinarian if a secondary bacterial infection is suspected.

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How Common Is The Dog Flu In My Area

There are two major strains of canine influenzaone is believed to have jumped from horses to racing greyhounds, the other has been imported by well-meaning rescue groups that are bringing dogs in from foreign countries and distributing them across the US.

You can see more information on the distribution of canine flu cases in the United States with DogFlu.coms yearly outbreak map. Keep in mind that these numbers represent the cases that have been reported with a verified diagnosis.

Suspected cases are not always confirmed by testing, as testing for canine influenza is complicated so often a diagnosis is made based on clinical signs and/or history of exposure.

What Is The Dog Flu

There are currently two known strains of canine influenza: H3N8 and H3N2.

The H3N8 canine influenza strain was first discovered in Florida 2004 in racing Greyhound dogs. Researchers believe this strain originated from horses and jumped to the Greyhounds.

Since being detected, the H3N8 canine influenza strain has been found in dogs in most of the United States, including the District of Columbia area.

The H3N2 canine influenza strain was identified during the spring of 2005 in the Chicago area. This followed an outbreak of respiratory illnesses in a number of dogs.

Prior to this discovery, this specific strain was restricted to Asian countries like South Korea, China, and Thailand. Researchers believe this strain might have transferred from live bird markets to dogs in the same area.

There has been no evidence that either strain of the canine influenza virus can infect humans.

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Minimizing The Risk Of Canine Influenza

Here is some additional information about the canine influenza virus and tips for how to minimize the risk and reduce the spread of the disease:

  • Canine influenza virus is a highly contagious disease that is easily spread through:
  • Close proximity to infected dogs
  • Contact with contaminated items
  • People moving between infected and uninfected dogs.
  • Almost all dogs that are exposed to the virus will contract it, and about 80% will show symptoms of the illness.
  • Dogs are contagious 3-4 days prior to showing symptoms and 7-10 days after symptoms subside .
  • Dogs may contract and spread the virus without showing symptoms.
  • Most dogs will completely recover with proper treatment, but the disease can be fatal.
  • The most likely victims of canine influenza virus are social dogs dogs that regularly interact with dogs outside of their own family or frequent places where many dogs gather.
  • How Do I Know If My Dog Has The Flu

    Dog Flu Vaccines

    The signs of the virus will vary from dog to dog, just like in humans who get the flu. Because it affects mainly the upper respiratory tract, symptoms youre likely to see are:

    • Coughing
    • Sneezing
    • A runny nose

    Some cases of dog flu will progress to secondary bacterial infections that can result in severe pneumonia. And in other cases, dogs will develop fever, achyness, lethargy and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. Fortunately, its very rare to see a dog die from the flu. Still, a pet parent must offer support to a sick dog.

    Keep in mind that 20 percent of dogs may not show signs of the virus, but will still be capable of spreading it. Dogs show signs from one to eight days after exposure, feel better in two to three weeks and will remain contagious for up to three to four weeks.

    Experts advise that infected dogs be quarantined for at least four weeks. If your dog has any of these symptoms, you should take it to a veterinarian for further evaluation and supportive care. Not all dogs with these symptoms will have the flu virus. There are other viruses and bacterial infections that can cause similar symptoms.

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    What Is Dog Flu And Where Did It Come From

    There are two identified strains of influenza virus that can affect our dogs and are classified as H3N8 and H3N2. The first recognized outbreak of the H3N8 strain of canine influenza occurred in . There have been reported cases in a total of 11 states in the U.S., but only among dogs in race track facilities.

    The H3N2 virus was first identified in Asia in 2006. There is no evidence to confirm, but it is suspected that in 2015 the H3N2 strain was introduced to the United States by dogs that were rescued and imported from Asia. This U.S. introduction occurred in Chicago when several dogs at a boarding facility became ill. The company quickly shut down multiple Chicago locations for disinfection, but not before the city experienced the worst outbreak in 35 years. At that time there were over 1,000 cases of infectious respiratory disease reported. From there the H3N2 virus spread through the Midwest and continued to stretch throughout the country.

    What You Should Know Before Boarding Your Pet

    Vaccination Requirements

    The following vaccinations are required 48 hours prior to the time of boarding.


    • DHLPP
    • Bordetella **
    • Highly recommended: Canine Influenza


    • FVRCP *Animals under 4 months of age accepted without Rabies vaccine.

    What is Bordatella?

    Bordatella is an airborne disease caused by the bacteria Bordatella bronchiseptica. Bordatella will cause a dry, hacking cough which often is mistaken for the sound of a dog trying to clear its throat. The cough will occur three to seven days after infection. Generally, the overall health of the dog will not be affected they will continue to be alert, show no increase in temperature, and will maintain their appetite. The risk of Bordatella is higher in a boarding situation due to a large number of dogs confined in an environment together. It only takes one infected dog for an outbreak to occur. An infected dog can spread the disease for days or weeks after the symptoms have subsided. Treatment of Bordatella is typically a round of antibiotics administered by your veterinarian.

    What is Canine Influenza?

    Check In/Check Out Times

    Animals may be dropped off anytime during our hours of operation. Charges accrue the first day of boarding. Animals being picked up from boarding before 10 a.m. will not be charged for the current day. Check-out is not offered on the following holidays: New Years Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.


    There is no deposit required during non-peak times.

    Personal Items

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    Is The Dog Flu Vaccine Effective

    The Canine Influenza Virus vaccine is not a core vaccine. Its completely up to the owner to decide if the dog should get it or not. The vaccine isnt designed to stop a dog from being infected, but studies have shown that it can reduce the length and severity of illness.

    Typically, dog flu can cause high fevers, coughing, pneumonia, trouble breathing, and more. After infection, the virus incubates for up to four days, during which the dog is the most contagious. Symptoms of the illness can then last up to three weeks.

    Successful vaccination can significantly shorten the duration of the illness. It makes it possible for the dogs immune system to take care of the virus on its own in a much shorter time. Vaccinated dogs will also reduce damage to the lungs and make them less likely to spread the disease. It wont prevent infection altogether.

    Video Answer: Dog Flu Cases Spreading Vets Urge Vaccination

    March Q& A  Canine Influenza. Does My Dog Need It?

    As part of a Lyme disease prevention protocol, dogs must be vaccinated in addition to tick removal and control. One infected tick that escapes those first 2 barriers can easily cause infection. There is no evidence of any deleterious effects due to vaccinating Lyme disease negative dogs.

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    What Are The Signs Of Canine Influenza When Should I Suspect Canine Influenza Rather Than Kennel Cough And When Should I Take My Dog To The Veterinarian

    “The symptoms of canine influenza are similar to the human flu: cough, runny nose, and fever.”

    The symptoms of canine influenza are similar to the human flu: cough, runny nose, and fever. The most common clinical sign associated with canine influenza is a cough that does not respond to antibiotic or cough suppressant therapy, and lasts 10-21 days. This cough may be productive or non-productive , and may be associated with reduced appetite and lethargy. The majority of dogs infected with canine influenza will display mild clinical signs. Dogs infected with the H3N2 strain of canine influenza appear to be at greater risk of developing more severe clinical signs.

    The CI virus is virtually identical to other respiratory infections such as kennel cough. In fact, many cases of CIV may be mistaken as kennel cough or other infections in the canine infectious respiratory disease complex because of these similarities. Because of the difficulty in distinguishing canine influenza from CIRD, any dog with these clinical signs should be seen by a veterinarian.

    Older dogs and dogs with heart and respiratory conditions are at particular risk for CIV. Dogs with short, flat faces , such as Boston Terriers, Boxers, Pekingese, Pugs, and Shih Tzus, are also at higher risk.

    What Is Canine Influenza

    Canine influenza virus is primarily the result of two influenza strains: H3N8 from an equine origin and H3N2 from an avian origin. Both of these strains were previously known to infect species other than dogs, but are now able to infect and spread among dogs.

    The H3N8 equine influenza virus has been recognized in horses for more than 40 years. In 2004, the H3N8 influenza virus or ‘flu’ appears to have ‘jumped’ from horses to dogs. The virus had mutated into a form known as canine influenza virus that is highly infective for dogs. At first, veterinarians thought the H3N8 canine flu would be quite lethal. Fortunately, like the human flu virus, it kills very few healthy individuals. Since its detection in 2004, H3N8 canine influenza has been detected in most states. The disease was discovered by Dr. Cynda Crawford from the University of Florida and she estimated that the H3N8 strain kills between 1% and 5% of dogs that contract it, with most of the deaths being in dogs that have serious concurrent illnesses. Thats nothing to sneeze at. The 1918 Spanish flu had a mortality rate of only 2%.

    In March of 2015, a new strain of influenza in the United States was identified in Chicago during an outbreak of respiratory illness.

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    Should My Dog Get A Flu Shot For Canine Influenza

    With fall here again, so too is the dreaded flu season. If youre a pet parent, an important question you might ask yourself is, Does my dog need the flu shot? The quick answer is maybe it depends on your dogs lifestyle and risk of exposure.

    There are a lot of factors to consider before deciding if your pooch needs a flu vaccination. Its still somewhat new but is regarded as effective and safe.

    Here are a few things to know about dog flu and if you should consider the vaccination for your pooch.

    Are The Symptoms Of The Dog Flu The Same As In Humans

    Dog flu spreads to Florida, vets recommending some pets get vaccinated as a precaution

    A dog that contracts the flu and hasnt had a dog flu shot can have a varying level of worrying symptoms.

    In its mild form, influenza causes a soft moist cough that can last from 10-30 days. In some dogs, the cough also takes on a dry hacking character and may be mistaken for the more well-known Kennel Cough complex of upper respiratory disease. Infected dogs may also have nasal discharge, lethargy, fever, and feel generally unwell.

    In the severe form of the disease, dogs will develop a very high fever of over 104 degrees and difficult, rapid breathing, which is secondary to bleeding into their lungs. This bleeding into the lungs will also lead to some patients coughing up blood.

    The onset of these signs is rapid, and in a few cases can lead to death within 4-6 hours! Even if a dog makes it through the initial insult, secondary bacterial pneumonia can occur due to the lung damage caused by the disease.

    This aggressive form of the disease is rare, but it is one of the reasons veterinarians recommend the dog flu shot! Vaccination not only protects your own dog but also will limit the spread of the disease if an outbreak does occur.

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    Should My Dog Get The Canine Influenza Vaccine

    Alicia Howser, DVMApril 21, 2015

    I am not going to give you a definitive yes or no answer to this question. You have to decide if it is best for your dog, just like you decide if you should get the flu shot every year yourself. What I am going to do is give you some more information to help you make an informed decision. For starters, lets address these 3 questions:

  • Is your dog going to be around a lot of other dogs or in an endemic area? If you take your dog to a setting like a dog show where they will be in close contact with a high volume of dogs, it is worth considering getting the flu vaccine. When dogs are around a lot of other dogs, it increases their chances of coming into contact with one that is shedding the virus. So dogs in shelters or dogs that go to dog shows are at higher risk of being exposed. 20% of dogs that are infected with the virus will not show clinical signs, but they still shed the virus.
  • How effective is the vaccine? In a study performed in 2011, which tested the efficacy of the vaccine, in the group of dogs that were vaccinated, only about 40% did not develop clinical signs. The other 60% did develop mild signs for a couple of days. What you have to keep in mind is that the canine flu vaccine is static, meaning it is not updated every year like the human shot to try to protect against the newest strain of the flu. Therefore, it may be less effective against the current flu strain causing this years disease.
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