New Dog Flu Virus Strain (H3N2) Affects Both Dogs and Cats
We have received information that some cases of canine influenza in the Midwest have been caused by a different strain of the virus than was earlier assumed. The dog flu outbreak in the Midwest, which had been previously attributed to canine influenza virus H3N8, has now been identified as H3N2, an Asian variant of the influenza A virus.
The H3N2 canine influenza virus cannot be transmitted to humans, however, H3N2 can cause infection and respiratory illness in cats, as well as dogs. Both influenza strains can cause high fever, loss of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge and lethargy.
It is not known if the current canine influenza vaccine will provide any protection from this new virus. It does protect against H3N8, which is also in circulation.
Our preventive advice remains the same. In areas where viruses are active, avoid places where dogs congregate, such as doggie day care, dog parks and grooming salons.
Owner of dogs and cats displaying signs of high fever, loss of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge and lethargy should contact their veterinarian about testing and treatment.
Please call us at (608) 836-8561 to make sure your dog is up to date on its vaccines and to discuss if the CIV vaccine is appropriate for your pet. Learn more about Canine Influenza here.