Canine Influenza: What You Need To Know

Currently, there have been no reported cases of canine influenza in Minnesota. However, over 30 states have documented cases of canine influenza including Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

Canine influenza, also known as H3N8, is a virus that is spread in three different ways: by direct contact between dogs, through the air, and on contaminated surfaces.

Symptoms are similar to kennel cough and may include a persistent cough, a low-grade fever, nasal discharge, watery eyes, lethargy, and a loss of appetite. Although usually mild, about 20% of dogs affected by the virus have experienced more severe symptoms such as a high fever and pneumonia. A small number of dogs have died.

Dogs of any breed and age may be susceptible to the virus and there is currently no specific treatment.

Your dog may be at greater risk of being infected if he or she came from a facility with many other dogs and puppies, regularly attends boarding kennels, doggie daycare or training, and goes to groomers, dog parks or shows.

You can help protect your dog from the virus by vaccinating him or her with two initial injections of the canine influenza vaccine and an annual vaccination every year after.