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Understanding Canine Influenza

Recommendations by the CVMA

Canadian Veterinary Medical AssociationWhat Dog Owners Need To Know:

What strain of flu is at cause?

  • The current Canine Influenza outbreak that is focused largely in the Midwest of North America is caused by the H3N2 virus, which originated in Asia.

What can you do to keep your dog safe?

  • Keep your dog away from any sick dogs for 7-14 days (the length of time that a dog can remain infectious)
  • If the H3N2 influenza virus is active in the region where you live, try to decrease your dog’s exposure to other dogs and avoid locations where numerous dogs gather, such as dog parks

Has your dog been exposed to the flu?

  • Do not socialise your dog with other dogs for at least 7-14 days even if your dog seems healthy
  • Do not travel outside of your local area with your dog if the virus is active in your region as you may contribute to its spread

Is your dog currently sick?

  • Do not make an unannounced emergency trip to the veterinarian’s office as you may expose other dogs to the virus as a result, contact your veterinarian by phone first to obtain recommendations and allow your vet to prepare for your arrival
  • Do not let your dog come into contact with other dogs or take it where other dogs congregate for at minimum 7-14 days

For more information, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association recommends the following article, entitled ‘More On Canine H3N2 Flu', by Scott Weese from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.