Canine Influenza H3N8 and H3N2
Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) is a relatively new illness in dogs. The first known case was diagnosed in Florida back in 2008. The first vaccine for this influenza strain, H3N8 was released in 2009 and we began recommending vaccinating “at-risk” dogs shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, a new strain came along – the H3N2. This is the strain that was diagnosed in Chicago and Houston several years ago. Shortly thereafter, the H3N2 strain infected dogs in nearby Davidson, NC. It is extremely contagious to dogs.
There is now a vaccine that protects against BOTH strains of CIV, called a bivalent vaccine. Pets just starting the bivalent CIV vaccine would require a booster 2-6 weeks after their first vaccination was given. The series must be completed at least 2 weeks prior to visiting Animal Hospital of Statesville’s Resort and Spa. Also, if the second bivalent CIV booster is missed (or late), the series will need to be started again! Thereafter, the bivalent CIV vaccine becomes a yearly vaccine provided it is given at the properly scheduled interval.
As always, we only recommend vaccines for “at-risk” dogs. For the bivalent CIV, those dogs would be dogs that board, go to a groomer, dog shows, dog parks or other social gatherings of dogs. As with most vaccines, getting the vaccine does not necessarily totally prevent disease, but it DOES greatly decrease the severity of the illness and all but eliminates the fatality component. Animal Hospital of Statesville is committed to keeping our boarding and grooming pets safe by requiring all pets using these services to be properly vaccinated for it. Not all kennels and groomers require the bivalent CIV. However, we feel it is in the best interest for the at-risk pets that we serve. We want to keep the dogs in our care safe and healthy!