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City Bark

Canine Influenza Info Sheet

What is Canine Influenza & Canine Cough?

Both Canine Influenza and Canine Cough are contagious respiratory infections in dogs. Canine Influenza is caused by two specific virus strains and Kennel Cough is a term used to describe multiple viruses or bacterial infections. Both may occur at higher rates in places that dogs frequent, including dog parks, dog daycares, kennels, and veterinary offices. They are both highly contagious and spread much the same way the human cold or flu spreads.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can vary, but are typically characterized by either a dry or wet cough, nasal discharge, listlessness, and sometimes a fever.

What are the treatments?

Canine Influenza is a virus and many strains of Canine Cough are also viruses. There is no “cure” for a virus. Treatment depends on the severity of the dog’s symptoms and whether the veterinarian considers it to be a virus or a bacterial infection. Many veterinarians will put dogs on antibiotics even when they suspect a virus is a cause to help protect against secondary infections including pneumonia. Additionally, cough tabs, nebulizer treatments, and fluids may be given depending on the dog’s symptoms.

How are they transmitted?

They are transmitted by coming into contact with an infected dog’s body secretions, whether it is through direct contact or indirect contact such as collars, leashes, water bowls, etc.

Are there vaccinations and will they prevent my dog from getting sick?

There are two separate vaccinations that may reduce the severity of the symptoms and the time your dog has symptoms, but they do not prevent your dog from getting sick. There are vaccinations for the Canine Influenza virus strains (H3N8 & H3N2), called Bivalent. The current vaccinations may not prevent infection altogether of the H3N8 & H3N2 strain, but it seems to significantly reduce the severity and duration of illness in many dogs. We require that the Canine Influenza vaccinations for H3N8 and H3N2 are administered. The Canine Cough vaccination is either given every 6 months or annually depending on your veterinarian’s recommendation.

Does City Bark require these vaccinations?

City Bark does require the Canine Cough (Bordatella) vaccination and the Canine Influenza vaccinations. The Bivalent (both CIV strains) is more expensive vaccination than Bordatella and runs approximately $30 per shot. You will need the initial shot and the booster 3 weeks later. After the initial booster shot, your dog will only require the vaccination annually.

What does City Bark do to reduce the likelihood of my dog getting sick?

We treat all health issues at City Bark very seriously and want to assure you we are doing all we can to take preventative measures including requiring the Bordatella vaccination, strongly encouraging the Canine Influenza vaccinations, adhering to the highest standards of cleaning and disinfecting, and isolating any known infected dogs immediately. Unfortunately, both diseases are so highly contagious that no amount of supervision, sanitation, or personal care can guarantee complete prevention of Canine Influenza or Canine Cough. Of course, there is the challenge that dogs are often more contagious the 2-4 days before they show any clinical signs of being sick so by the time the dog develops a cough or other symptoms they have already been sharing the disease with other dogs.

What can I do to help prevent the spread of disease?

Keep in mind that Canine Influenza and Canine Cough are much like human flu or cold and spread much the same way. Talk to your veterinarian and keep your dog current on all recommended vaccinations. Keep your dog out of daycare and other social situations for at least 21 days if you have reason to believe your dog was exposed to either Canine Influenza or Canine Cough. Most importantly, remember you know your dog the best so if you suspect your dog might be “a little under the weather” keep your dog out of social situations as your dog is likely to be contagious even if your dog is not coughing or showing other obvious clinical signs of being sick.

Please alert City Bark if your dog shows any symptoms or if you suspect your dog is sick.