As some of you may already heard, there have been some confirmed cases of K9 Influenza in the state of Florida. Luckily, we have not seen any at our veterinary clinic in Tampa. This virus is highly contagious (just like the human Flu virus) and tends to be spread through close contact such as in boarding, grooming and dog park situations. For those of you that do these activities with your dogs, it is being recommended to receive the K9 Influenza vaccine to help protect them from this virus and slow down the spread of this virus.
Some important information concerning the K9 influenza vaccination: the latest strain (H3N2) may not have been available when your pet was previously vaccinated. Our Tampa veterinarians are currently using the bivalent vaccination which contains both strains (H3N2 and H3N8) for better protection of your dog.
The following is a message from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine:
Statement from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Regarding Canine Influenza H3N2:
UF College of Veterinary Medicine officials have confirmed more than one dozen cases of canine influenza A virus, a.k.a. “dog flu.” The first twelve dogs tested have been confirmed with the strain of influenza A known as H3N2 CIV. Dogs testing positive for the H3N2 strain were either at the Perry, Georgia dog show May 19-21 or the Deland, Florida dog show the following weekend, or were exposed to dogs who were present at these shows. This is the same strain responsible for the severe outbreak of canine influenza in Chicago in 2015.
Veterinarians in central and north Florida are treating many dogs that are suspected to have dog flu. All dogs being treated are in stable condition. Common symptoms of dog flu include sneezing, nasal discharge and frequent coughing. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, please call your pet’s veterinarian before taking your pet in for treatment.
There is no evidence that H3N2 canine influenza virus infects humans. Information for pet owners and for veterinarians is available on the UF Veterinary Hospitals website at http://hospitals.vetmed.ufl.edu/canine-influenza/.