Summer 2017 H3N2 outbreak in Southeastern US

Dog Flu Story

December, 2015- Several Recently Confirmed Cases in Dane County

Several cases of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) have been confirmed in the Dane County area. At least four dogs are from the same household and their histories include interaction with dogs from the Chicago area, an area that has reported up to 800 confirmed cases of the virus so far in 2015. The strain of Canine Influenza Virus found in the Dane County cases has not yet been confirmed (H3N8 or H3N2).

With families traveling for the holidays and bringing their canine companions along, we wanted to make sure our clients and the Madison dog community have the latest information on this outbreak & ways to prevent disease.

Because CIV can be challenging to diagnose, is highly contagious, and may cause serious disease, prevention is essential. Vaccination against both CIV H3N8 and CIV H3N2 provides the best protection against Canine Influenza Virus and associated illness. Vaccination against Bordetella and Parainfluenza 3 (we prefer the intranasal vaccine) may help to provide protection against canine upper respiratory disease as well.

This is the most current information we have about CIV and how to protect your dog:

• Disease caused by both strains of the Canine Influenza Virus is similar to kennel cough, but lasts longer, makes dogs much sicker, and has a much higher fatality rate. Keeping dogs away from close contact with other dogs significantly reduces their risk of disease.

• Because CIV is transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and direct contact between dogs, dogs that go to daycare, are boarded, visit dog parks, visit grooming facilities, or regularly spend time in close contact with other dogs are at higher risk of contracting CIV. However, any dog in contact with other dogs has the potential for exposure. Additionally, CIV has a higher mortality rate in older or immunosuppressed dogs.

• Two Canine Influenza Virus vaccines are now available – CIV H3N2 and CIV H3N8 – to protect dogs against both strains of CIV circulating in the U.S.. For the best protection against both strains of CIV, a separate vaccine for each strain is required. A dose of each vaccine followed by a booster in 2 to 4 weeks is needed. We will have both vaccines strains by tomorrow.

• Dogs up to date on kennel cough vaccination may be better protected against CIV H3N8, according to the AVMA resource below.

• In addition to dogs, cats exposed to CIV H3N2 can also develop serious respiratory disease, so preventing exposure is very important. Cats are NOT susceptible to the H3N8 form.

Fortunately, West Towne Veterinary Center has never seen a confirmed case of either CIV strain. We have carried the CIV H3N8 vaccine since April 2015, when the first outbreak of H3N2 in Chicago occurred and there was one reported case of CIV in Dane County.

The first CIV H3N2 vaccine was just released last month, and we currently have vaccines in stock so we can begin protecting dogs against both CIV H3N8 and CIV H3N2. We anticipate having enough vaccine to provide to our existing patients and new patients as well.

We will continue to post new information on our website, Facebook page, and on Twitter, as new information becomes available.


Vaccine Avaibility
Up to date vaccination for the kennel cough complex (bordetella & parainfluenza 3) is recommended for all dogs and the currently available Canine Influenza Vaccine H3N8 and H3N2 for high risk dogs as possible additional protection.

Please call (608) 828-3737 to protect your dog from this disease. Drs. Ken Lambrecht, Tina Karls & Rachel Stading

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