Canine Influenza Virus Hits Bloomington/Normal

Facts About Canine Influenza Virus (CIV)

Last year's CIV outbreak in Chicago was of a new strain, H3N2, previously not seen outside parts of Asia.

The Bloomington Pantagraph has reported a current outbreak of canine flu, though the strain has not yet been reported. 

The CIV vaccine that has been in use for several years protects against a different CIV strain, H3N8.  It may help reduce the severity of symptoms, but its efficacy against H3N2 is not yet known.  

A new vaccine that protects again H3N2 is now available.  Contact your veterinarian about whether your dog should receive this new vaccine.  

Dogs are most contagious (capable of spreading the disease) before they appear sick.

The virus remains viable in the environment (on surfaces, clothing, and human hands) for 12 to 48 hours.

Contact your veterinarian if your dog displays symptoms of CIV:

Coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose (nasal discharge can be clear to yellowish-greenish), eye discharge, rapid breathing, difficulty breathing, Cyanosis (blue-tinged gums), decreased appetite, lethargy, collapse.

Most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks, but some dogs do become very seriously ill. Treatments are largely supportive in nature.

For more information about CIV, visit the AVMA website.

Prevention Tips for Dog Owners

Be aware of  high-risk areas.  Dog parks, dog-friendly stores, dog day care, boarding kennels, grooming facilities, and even veterinary waiting rooms are all places where the virus could be transmitted. 

When in contact with multiple dogs, wash your hands frequently and remove and wash any clothing that may have had contact with dogs’ mouths, noses, or eyes.

Don’t travel with your dog to areas where CIV outbreaks are occurring.  

Talk to your vet about the CIV vaccine.  

Read more about CIV at the AVMA website.