Consider Vaccinating for the Canine Influenza Virus

Consider Vaccinating for the Canine Influenza Virus

Have you had your flu shot? Well, I don't really mean you - I mean your dog! The Canine Influenza Virus is rampant where there are outbreaks, currently in places in New England and Texas. There was a brief outbreak in Chicago....and it could happen anytime again, anywhere and without warning. That's how the dog flu is since all dogs are susceptible.

Even dogs without symptoms may be shed the virus - so what do you do? Listen to my conversation for Steve Dale's Pet World with Dr. Andrea Dennis of Bloomfield, CT.

Here's my Tribune Media Services piece I wrote about the Canine Influenza Virus (or dog flu).


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  • Hi Steve,

    Just a comment or two.

    1) It wasn't mentioned in your podcast, though you made a passing comment in your Tribune Media Services piece ... so, I just want to make sure people are aware that if giving the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) vaccine ... it REQUIRES TWO initial doses. It is a Killed Virus vaccine ("noninfectious" in the new terminology) which means that the first dose only "primes" the immune system and will not give immunity. A second dose MUST be given between 2 and 6 weeks later (no sooner than 2 weeks) and then it takes an ADDITIONAL 1 week (7-10 days) after the second vaccination before there is protective immunity. That means that for a dog that has never been vaccinated before for CIV, it takes a minimum of 3 WEEKS from the first dose to develop immunity (and even then the CIV vaccine may not prevent infection, but will lessen symptoms -- i.e. it gives "nonsterile" immunity). I think it is important for dog owners to know that you can't give a single vaccination and think your dog is now "safe". Even after the second dose, it requires another week for the immune system to respond. So, one should try to avoid exposure (e.g. at boarding kennels, doggy day care, dog parks, etc) until at least a week after the SECOND dose of CIV vaccine. It is still categorize as a "Non-Core" vaccine, so only needs to be given if there is a known risk of exposure.

    2) Just want to make everyone aware ... the NEW 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines were finally released and made available on the AAHA website just a few weeks ago. I'm very disappointed that AAHA has done nothing to announce their publication. They are a major update to the old 2006 Guidelines with much new information on topics like titer testing and new vaccines (like the CIV), as well as new shelter vaccination recommendations. Here is a link to the new 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines:

    As always, thanks Steve for all you do for both dogs and cats ... and helping to educate us all so that we can give the best care possible to our beloved pets.

    Stephanie in Montreal

  • In reply to srstephanie:

    Thank you for this info and link (I attended a workshop given by Dr. Schultz and I am always interested in the latest vaccination recommendations).

  • Wow - I know what you say is true - just a matter of space in the print story...but this is why when traveling - talk with your veterinarian a month before. So, you have time for the booster required, if CIV is rampant to where you are traveling....

    And I will be writing about the new vaccine guidelines, and posting here....just backed up with story commitments.

    You are the best!

  • hapercollie - more on vaccinations coming up in some blogs over the next weeks.

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