Canine Influenza Vaccination

We at Bernville Veterinary Clinic – Pet Spa & Resort are now recommending that our dog patients be vaccinated for Canine Influenza and will require it for our Spa guests. Canine Influenza Virus (H3N8) is an influenza virus that is relatively new and highly contagious. It can be a part of a complex of viral and bacterial upper respiratory agents causing illness in dogs. Different parts of the country have experienced outbreaks, including the northeast and Pennsylvania. Signs of Canine Flu are very similar to Kennel Cough except usually more severe. These signs include coughing mainly; fever, ocular & nasal discharge, and sneezing. The disease can progress to pneumonia in severe cases. About 80% of dogs exposed to the virus will show signs of the Flu and up to 8% can die from infection. The 20% who show no signs will still shed and spread the virus. The virus can remain active on hands for up to 12 hours and 24 hours on clothing. The safe vaccine greatly reduces the viral shedding and severity of cough as well as protecting the lungs from severe lesions. We would like to stay ahead of this disease and be proactive instead of reacting after sickness or death occurs in our area. The vaccine is administered and boosted 2 to 4 weeks apart and then yearly thereafter.