New strain of Canine Influenza now confirmed to be in Georgia.
A case of Canine influenza (CI) has now been confirmed in Georgia. The lab at the University of Georgia reported yesterday that the case is the new strain, H3N2. It was reported from an outbreak in a boarding kennel in the Metro-Atlanta area.
At Family Pet Clinic, we are now recommending the Canine Influenza vaccine.
It is not known if the present vaccine protects against the new strain of CI. However, since it is possible there may be some protection, we are now recommending that dogs that are most at risk (that go to boarding facilities, grooming salons, doggie day care, dog parks or anywhere else where contact with other dogs can occur) be vaccinated.
Dogs need to get two doses of the vaccine, two to four weeks apart. No protection occurs until after the second dose of vaccine. So if you are boarding your pet this summer, you need to go ahead and get the vaccinations started now, so the pet can develop protection.
The following questions and answers are from a document produced by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. https://ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/docs/H3N2_FAQ_041415.pdf
Will the vaccine developed for H3N8 protect against H3N2?
Although both are H3 viruses, H3N2 is antigenically different from the H3N8 virus strain, so it is likely to be seen differently by the immune system. While the H3N8 vaccine may offer some protection against the H3N2 virus, how much protection—if any—remains unknown.
How can owners protect their pets?
Owners should check with their veterinarian to find out if the influenza virus has been a problem in their area. If the dog is deemed to be at increased risk, it may be prudent to keep the dog out of situations where contact with other dogs can occur.
Situations that pose risk include boarding kennels, grooming salons, canine daycare, dog parks, animal shelters, and any other locations where dogs can interact.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are respiratory in nature and can vary from dog to dog. Some have no symptoms while others become severely ill. Most dogs are only mildly affected with a fever, runny nose, and a cough. Others can suffer from life-threatening pneumonia.