Canine Influenza (CI), or Dog Flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by an Influenza A virus.
According to the CDC, CI has now been detected in dogs across much of the United States. Canine Influenza H3N2 viruses originated in birds, spread to dogs, and can quickly spread between dogs. Transmission of H3N2 canine influenza viruses to cats from infected dogs has also been reported. Canine Influenza H3N8 viruses originated in horses and have been known to exist for over 40 years. The H3N8 strains weren’t known to have transferred to dogs until around 2005. No human infections with canine influenza have ever been reported.
Canine Influenza Vaccine (CIV)
The combination Canine Influenza vaccine (CIV), which covers both the H3N8 and H3N2 viruses, is a series of two vaccines given two to four weeks apart. This vaccine is a requirement for all Space Coast Pet Services canine guests who request overnight pet sitting services in the sitter’s home (boarding) to help keep Space Coast Pet Services guests healthy and prevent the spread of canine influenza.
Following our standard vaccine requirements, please provide documentation that your dog has been vaccinated against canine Influenza by a licensed veterinarian. If your dog has already received this vaccination and you have provided email documentation to us, no further action is needed on your part at this time.
Symptoms of Canine Influenza
- Dry, hacking cough (similar to kennel cough)
- Lack of appetite
- Discharge from the nose or eyes
- Fever (normal temperature is 101 – 102)
Most dogs recover from Dog Flu within 2 to 3 weeks. However, some pups may develop secondary bacterial infections, leading to more severe illness and pneumonia. Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health or whose pet is showing signs of canine influenza should contact their veterinarian.
Updating Your Dog’s Vaccination Records in our Client Portal
Before requesting new services, please ensure that you have reviewed your pet’s information – including vaccinations – in their pet profile in our Precise Petcare client portal. If you need assistance in updating your pet’s information, including their vaccination dates, please watch this short tutorial video. The written guide can also be found here.
Once you have updated this, please email a copy of your pet’s vaccination records to firstname.lastname@example.org
FAQs about the Dog Flu and Our Requirements
When we sent out notifications about the canine influenza vaccine requirement in the past, we received several questions from our pet parents that we thought would be helpful to share with you now.
- Why do we require our client’s dogs to be vaccinated for Canine Flu?
Space Coast Pet Services believes in advocating for our clients following best practices established nationally. Other daycares and boarding and grooming facilities nationwide have been impacted by this virus, and we wish to ensure our clients and their pets the safest, healthiest stay possible. Space Coast Pet Services has taken many roles to help protect pets in our care. We practice vigorous sanitizing and cleaning schedules, staff education, and vaccination protocols to help keep the pup’s in our care healthy. Many other locally established daycares, boarding, and grooming facilities in our area also require this vaccine.|
- What is the biggest concern with canine flu viruses?
Canine Influenza is airborne and can be anywhere. Dogs can be in contact with it, walking in their neighborhood, going to the vet or groomer, in the pet store, at a dog park, visiting other households, etc. The biggest concern with canine flu viruses is that there isn’t much natural immunity built up within our canine population against this virus. This means that if your dog is in a community environment (i.e., daycare, boarding, training, grooming, & dog parks) and they’re exposed to a dog with this virus that may not be exhibiting symptoms, your dog can easily be affected.
- What if I can’t get to my vet to get the exam for the vaccine before my vacation?
If you are unable to get an appointment with your veterinarian, check your local Tractor Supply Store. Many Tractor Supply stores hold Vaccine Clinics on Sundays and can administer the Canine Influenza combo vaccine. No appointment is needed. Locate your nearest Tractor Supply store here. Another option that I have personally used is a VetIQ clinic. There is no appointment needed; they have convenient locations and hours, plus upfront pricing. VIP Petcare, located in some Pet Supermarkets, is another option for when your regular vet can’t accommodate your schedule.
- If my dog is immuno-compromised and my vet advises against inoculating my dog for canine Influenza for medical reasons, what do I do?
If this is the case, please contact us directly. We will ask for written documentation directly from your pup’s vet.
Looking for more information?
Please visit these resources to learn more about Canine Influenza and how you can protect your dog.
- American Veterinary Medical Association – Canine Influenza FAQs
- Dogflu.com – General Information and Dog Flu Outbreaks Map – Dogflu.com
- CDC – Key Facts about Canine Influenza (Dog Flu) – https://www.cdc.gov/flu/other/canine-flu/keyfacts.html
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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