Poulsbo Animal Clinic

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Don’t Let Your Dog Go Viral! (Canine Flu)

Just like people, dogs can get the flu—known as canine influenza, or CIV. Also just like people, the more social the individual, the greater the risk of contracting the virus. Dogs that interact with other dogs at daycare, grooming, dog parks, or who are regularly groomed are much more likely to be exposed.

There are two highly contagious strains of the virus—H3N2 and H3N8—and no dog is immune.  Over the last year, CIV was reported in 46 states. Symptoms of CIV include:

  • coughing
  • fever
  • sneezing
  • lethargy
  • eye discharge
  • reduced appetite

In elderly dogs and those with compromised immune systems or pre-existing respiratory conditions, CIV can lead to secondary infections and even death.

Preventing exposure through vaccination is crucial, especially for senior dogs and those with chronic illness. We carry a bivalent vaccine that protects against both strains of the virus, and we strongly encourage you to have your dog vaccinated if he or she will be in contact with other dogs.

Have questions or need to make an appointment to get your pet vaccinated?