Important Information about Canine Influenza or Dog Flu for Pet Owners

Many pet owners have contacted us about Canine Influenza, so we have created this quick reference guide to help answer many of your questions.

What is Canine Influenza?

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), or dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs. What is unique about the virus we are currently seeing in the Atlanta area is that it is not the typical dog flu strain (H3N8) that is treated nationwide. The strain causing the 2015 outbreak in Georgia (H3N2) is the same strain that afflicted thousands of dogs in the Chicago area. It almost genetically identical to an H3N2 strain previously reported only in Asia – specifically, Korea, China and Thailand.

Symptoms

Mild form — The signs of Canine Influenza in its mild form look very similar to kennel cough. Dogs suffering with the mild form of canine influenza may have:

  • a soft, moist cough or dry cough
  • lethargy/lack of energy
  • reduced appetite
  • mild fever
  • sneezing
  • discharge from the eyes and/or nose
  • thick nasal discharge (usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection)

If your pet has any of these symptoms talk to your veterinarian.

Severe form — Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza will have:

  • high fevers (104ºF to 106ºF)
  • clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort
  • A small percentage of dogs will die from canine influenza.

Dogs or other pets with these symptoms need immediate veterinary care.