- Myth #1: The canine influenza vaccine is a core vaccine.
- Fact: The influenza vaccine is not one that is recommended for every pet. It is recommended based on risk factors alone. Risk factors include pets that are boarded frequently, travel to dog shows, attend dog parks regularly, or are generally in a high population of other dogs on a regular basis.
- Myth #2: Canine influenza and Canine parainfluenza are the same disease.
- Fact: These are two separate diseases that both affect the respiratory system. Canine parainfluenza is part of the combo, core vaccine (distemper, adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza, and parvovirus). There is not cross-protection from the parainfluenza vaccine for influenza virus.
- Myth #3: Canine influenza virus can travel up to 20 feet through respiratory secretions to infect other pets.
- Fact: This myth is true. Your pet does not have to come into contact with an infected pet in order to contract influenza.
- Myth #4: All dogs infected with canine influenza become very ill and will need hospitalization.
- Fact: Many dogs infected with influenza virus can be treated as outpatients. There are many dogs that can carry and shed the virus that don’t show symptoms at all. With the current infectious strain (H3N2), 80% of dogs that come into contact with the virus will become infected and show symptoms. 20% of the dogs exposed will shed the virus but will not be sick or show any symptoms. Only 5-8% of infected dogs die from secondary pneumonia.
- Myth #5: The canine influenza vaccine will protect my dog from becoming infected with this virus.
- Fact: This vaccine is not a vaccine of prevention. This vaccine will not keep your dog from being infected with canine influenza. The point of this vaccine is to lessen the symptoms and shedding of the virus should your pet be infected. This vaccine also requires a booster 2-3 weeks after the first one to give proper immunization. If only 1 vaccine is received, it will not be affective in decreasing the symptoms nor shedding of the virus. It is important that you keep this in mind when vaccinating your dogs. Vaccinated dogs should take the same precautions as unvaccinated dogs when it comes to avoiding high-risk areas.
At the present time there is an outbreak in Louisville of Canine Influenza H3N2. Where this outbreak began is unclear but it has affected 2 separate boarding facilities and Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners has treated several cases. Due to this outbreak, we are recommending vaccinating at-risk animals. If you are unsure if your pet is at-risk, please contact your veterinarian. If your pet is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, please contact your veterinarian and take your pet in to be seen:
Nasal or Eye discharge
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