Canine Influenza

Flu Season: What you should know about Canine Influenza; by By Beth Guerra, DVM

Flu season is upon us. We worry about sending our children back to school in the midst of the human H1N1 virus, and we ourselves are concerned about illness in the workplace. An emerging flu virus has also been identified in dogs as recently as 2004.

The canine influenza virus (CIV) behaves much like a human virus, causing widespread illness. Although this virus is rarely fatal, transmission is rapid between dogs in shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics, and boarding facilities. Unlike the human virus, there is no “flu season” for dogs and the disease is highly transmissible the entire year.  All dogs are susceptible and because it is a new virus, minimal immunity exists at this point.

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