UPDATE 3/1/18: There have now been 3 confirmed cases of CIV in the Grants Pass area of Southern Oregon.
There is a current outbreak of the H3N2 strain of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) in Silicon Valley that stretches from the San Jose area to San Francisco, with recent expansion east to Reno, Nevada. As of February 2018, there are over 400 confirmed cases of H3N2 CIV and an increasing number of suspect cases included in this outbreak.
Canine influenza is a highly contagious airborne disease, much like kennel cough (Bordetella). The virus can travel in droplets from a cough or sneeze and can be transmitted by contact with contaminated objects (for instance, a chew toy or water bowl). Dogs can spread the disease without showing symptoms.
There is a mild form of the disease and a more severe form that is accompanied by pneumonia.The mild form causes a moist cough, fever, and lethargy. Infected dogs often sneeze, have eye and nasal discharge. A dog with the severe form will have a high fever, increased respiratory rate or panting, difficulty breathing, and severe cough. This form can be life-threatening.
Your Frontier Veterinarians Recommend Vaccinating Your Dog
Because of the geographic proximity between California and Oregon, there is a risk that CIV may be brought into our state. There also is an additional concern that the ongoing importation of dogs from the Bay Area to shelters and rescue groups in Oregon may introduce H3N2 CIV to our area. The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, the Portland Veterinary Medical Association, and the Oregon State Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Emilio DeBess, recommend proactive vaccination of at-risk dogs for CIV to protect these patients and prevent a possible outbreak in our communities.
Dogs should be vaccinated with the 2-strain vaccine (H3N2 & H3N8), followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later. Full immunity does not occur until 7-10 days after the booster, but once effective it lasts for 12 months. Boosters should then be given annually. Like human flu shots, CIV vaccination may not prevent infection 100%, but it may reduce the severity and duration of illness. Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions and for advice about vaccinating your dog.
Click here for more information on CIV.