Vet Blog

Canine Influenza Outbreak

July 29, 2017

It's here, and it is not messing around.

Pet lovers should be aware that several cases of Canine Influenza (H3N2) have been diagnosed recently in our area. Canine Influenza can be very serious with outbreaks having an estimated 10% death loss.

Recently, the City of Baytown recommended vaccinating dogs for the flu. But beware: there are two different strains and vaccinations for both are required for optimal protection.

Most of the recent cases are reported as H3N2, or what most of us call the Chicago Flu. It is the newest strain to enter the United States. We here at Abshier-Meuth diagnosed the first case of it in Texas in May of 2015. That case was properly quarantined and thus did not infect other dogs.

Influenza in dogs is hard to diagnose and can mimic other respiratory infections. It is also easily transferred to pets via our clothing or other exposed materials. The major problem with Influenza is that it can cause hemorrhagic pneumonia in about 10% of dogs, and, unfortunately, those cases are more likely to die. Therefore vaccination is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

I fear we are at the apex of an outbreak of Influenza in our area. At least 3 cases have been reported in the last week alone. Please make sure you know the status of your pets' Influenza vaccines and that both strains (H3N2 and H3N8) are current.