What is H3N2 Canine Influenza?
The H3N2 canine influenza is a highly contagious strain of influenza virus that infects dogs. The virus can also infect cats, but there is no evidence that it can be transmitted to humans.
What are the symptoms of H3N2 Canine Influenza?
Common symptoms include sneezing, discharge from the nose and eyes and coughing which can last for two (2) weeks or more. Many dogs have a fever and a decrease in appetite the first few days. In some cases, they can develop pneumonia which requires hospital care. In cats, the H3N2 virus can cause sneezing and nasal discharge.
How does a dog get H3N2 Canine Influenza?
The H3N2 virus is spread by direct contact with a sick dog and by contact with people that have been exposed to the virus. The virus can be carried on people’s clothing, hands and on items such as food/water bowls, collars/leashes, toys and bedding for 12 to 24 hours before it dies.
Who is at risk?
Most dogs do not have immunity to the H3N2 virus. Dogs are at most risk when being near other dogs - including dog parks, pet stores, boarding kennels and grooming areas.
How can I protect my dog?
Contact your private veterinarian to vaccinate your dog against the canine influenza viruses. Just like human flu vaccines, the H3N2 vaccine may not completely prevent infection but will make it less likely for your dog to be infected.
If you think your dog may be showing signs of canine influenza, please contact your private Veterinarian immediately.