///Canine influenza: Facts and vaccine

Canine influenza: Facts and vaccine

Canine influenza: Facts and vaccine

Yes, we currently have the vaccine at our Beaufort Animal Medical Centers! Please give us a call and we can determine if vaccination is the right course of action for your pet.


The latest outbreak of canine influenza is the H3N2 strain, which has been proven to be a highly contagious strain. Confirmed cases have been found in NC, SC, GA, AL, TN, and KT and although some deaths have been reported, the good news is that while the dogs may feel miserable, (much like we do when we have the flu), it is rarely fatal. Much like our human flu, cases are more likely to result in death for individuals who are older, very young, or immunocompromised from another disease.

Unfortunately, dogs who are exposed to the virus can remain contagious for up to 4 weeks. To best protect your dog, they require a series of two bivalent (both influenza strains) vaccines, administered three weeks apart. *Please note that your pet will not have full immunity until 2 weeks after the second vaccine*.  As with our human influenza vaccinations, the canine vaccine does not guarantee a complete lack of illness should exposure occur; the goal is to lessen the severity of symptoms should a dog become sick.

We strongly recommend this vaccine for anyone whose pet may be boarding, grooming, participating in dog shows / agility, doggie day care, or any dog who is often exposed to other dogs.


Be a good neighbor and keep our loved ones healthy! 


  • At your  veterinarian – If you do have a coughing dog, please wait in the car and do not bring your dog into the vet clinic unless directed to do so, due to the highly infectious nature of the disease.


  • Human parents – please note that canine influenza can be transmitted through direct and indirect contact, (meaning dog to dog transmission, but can also live on things such as clothing/food and water bowls/etc.


  • Day to day dog life – If your dog is showing symptoms of coughing, sneezing, ocular drainage, and/or lethargy, this is a time for your dog to stay home and not socialize.  And this is true for any contagious disease, not just canine influenza.  We have many contagious upper respiratory tract infections that are much more common in the lowcountry than canine influenza.  If your dog is sick, please don’t go to dog parks or to the groomer’s office.  If you were making plans to board your dog, see if you can have a family member or a friend come to your home instead.  Your boarding and grooming facilities’ owners and your community’s neighbors will thank you for this kindness.


More information on the current influenza strain…

  • As of the writing of this blog, we still do not know where in South Carolina this virus was reported or how many dogs have been affected.  What we do know is that The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the many schools tracking this disease, especially after a recent new exposure at a dog show in Perry, Georgia.  The University of Florida issued a report this week simply listing the states that have had reported cases of H3N2.  South Carolina was on this list.
  • H3N2 has been present in South Carolina before these recent cases. A veterinarian in Mount Pleasant diagnosed it in 2 dogs traveling to our lowcountry, after staying in an infected boarding facility in Atlanta, in the spring of 2015.  The owner’s vigilant observation of her dogs’ newly developed respiratory signs and the quick thinking of the veterinarian to send off testing for the virus allowed these dogs to be isolated and likely prevented this virus from spreading to other local pets.
  • While we all appreciate the media for educating our community on the existence of this virus, the lowcountry veterinary community sees a higher rates of pets passing away from other more common deadly diseases such as parvovirus, heartworm disease, and exposure to toxins such as rodent poisons and antifreeze. As pet owners in Beaufort and the surround areas, we need to be sure our pets are continuousely up to date with monthly preventatives and keep them safe from toxins!


As always, our experienced doctors and veterinary team are here to care for your lowcountry pets, keeping them healthy and happy! Call us to determine the best treatment for your pet.

By | 2018-03-28T21:38:00+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Leave A Comment

three − 1 =