What You Need to Know

Have you heard of “the dog flu”? Just like people, dogs can get viruses and bacterial infections. While no cases of canine influenza have been reported in Oregon, the virus has made its way to Washington state, which means the risk has increased for pets in our area.

When infected with canine influenza, dogs experience fever, coughing, sneezing, and a general unwell feeling. There are two strains of the virus—H3N2 and H3N8— and both are highly contagious. Bethany Family Pet Clinic stocks a combination vaccine that protects against both strains of canine influenza. This vaccine does need to be boostered after about 3-4 weeks, and it should be administered annually after that. Even if your dog has received the Bordetella, or “kennel cough”, vaccine, he or she still needs protection against influenza. Both diseases are found in the same environment such as areas with high traffic of dogs like parks, groomers, day-cares, kennels, and dog shows.

Preventing exposure is also crucial, especially for senior dogs and those with chronic illness. While canine influenza isn’t necessarily deadly on its own, combined with other ailments and pre-existing conditions it can become much more serious.

If you have questions about canine influenza, or want to make an appointment to get your pet vaccinated, give us a call at 503.828.9177.