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Canine Influenza

Canine Influenza

Tri-State Veterinary Medical Group  845-856-1914

                                            33 Jersey Avenue,   Port Jervis, New York


Dear Friends,

In an effort to provide our clients with the highest level of care, we have been monitoring diseases for which our canine patients may be considered to have an increased risk. Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) is an emerging disease and the canine population is largely immune naive (minimal  immune system exposure), so exposure can cause widespread disease, especially in situations where high levels of dog-to-dog contact occurs. It was first identified in racing greyhounds in 2004 and it continues to appear sporadically as outbreaks in shelters and boarding facilities.

            Facts about CIV:

  • The virus is passed in a similar fashion to all other flu viruses (i.e, inhalation of contaminated air) and can be transmitted on fomites (inanimate objects such as counter tops, floors, shoes/clothes, and toys)
  • Dogs can shed the virus for 2-4 days before they begin showing symptoms of the disease [1].
  • The virus can be difficult to diagnose with some routine tests because there is a very short period of time between viral shedding and symptoms when a dog can test positive1.
  • Most cases have mild to moderate upper respiratory signs, but geriatric, immunocompromised and very young dogs may develop more severe or potentially life threatening disease 1,2.
  • Respiratory infections in dogs are often a result of more than one type of virus or bacterium.[2]
  • Most “outbreaks” of the disease have been linked to kennels, boarding facilities, and shelters where dogs come in close contact with other pets. Bringing dogs home from a shelter poses great risks to your current pets.
  • Just as with human influenza- there is a vaccine for CIV. The vaccination helps control the development of disease symptoms and if your pet should become infected, prior vaccination may decrease the amount of time that a pet sheds the virus or exhibits symptoms.

            Given the risk of this disease and the very social nature of our canine population, the Doctors and staff of TSV are recommending this vaccination for our canine patients as part of their standard of care.

            The vaccination will be given as a series of two doses, three weeks apart and then yearly after that time. Please know that we understand that there will be a period of time that we are involved in getting your pet and others up to date on this vaccination series.

It is a great compliment to us that you trust us to care for your pet. Please know that this decision is made with them in mind. We would much rather be proactive and informative than play catch up after an outbreak that may involve your pet. We have brochures for your review and further information as well. Please call today to schedule an appointment to begin your pet on this vaccination series.


[1] Holt DE, Mover MR, Brown DC. Serologic prevalence of antibodies against canine influenza virus (H3N8) in dogs in a metropolitan animal shelter. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2010;237(1):71-73.

[2] Dubovi EJ, Njaa BL. Canine influenza. Vet Clin Small Anim. 2008;38:827-835.

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