Animal Veterinary Hospital of Orlando is now offering a bivalent canine influenza vaccine to help protect your pets. Our vaccine protects your dog from both strains of canine influenza, H3N2 and H3N8. The vaccine is given as a 2 injection initial series with the second injection ocurring 2-4 weeks after the initial vaccine. Once the pet has had the initial series, the vaccine is boosted yearly. Canine Influenza should not be confused with Canine Parainfluenza, which is part of our standard annual vaccine package. The influenza vaccine is recommended for healthy dogs 7 weeks of age or older.
Canine influenza, more commonly known as dog flu, has been in the news a lot recently. An outbreak has been reported in DeLand, GA with numerous cases being reported here in Central Florida. The H3N8 strain has been found in 42 states since first being identified in 2003, and the H3N2 strain has been diagnosed in 30 states in just the past 2 years. The H3N2 strain is extremely contagious and can be easily spread by direct contact with an infected dog, airborne, and by contact with contaminated objects such as dog bowls, toys, etc. The H3N2 strain of canine influenza may be undetectable for up to 24 days, while still making your dog contagious and able to spread the disease to other dogs during this time.
Symptoms to be on the look out for in your pet:
- Discharge from the nose and/or eye
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy/lack of energy