Vaccines against canine influenza are available
Diseases caused by viruses, such as canine influenza, are best prevented by effective vaccination. An effective and safe canine influenza vaccine is available. Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N8 has been shown to control the spread of CIV infection and minimize its impact. Just recently Canine Influenza Vaccine H3N2 was launched under a conditional license and has a reasonable expectation of efficacy and safety. The vaccine aids in the control of disease associated with infection with canine influenza virus H3N2. Canine influenza virus H3N2 is of avian origin while canine influenza virus H3N8 is of equine origin. Therefore, these viruses are not related and dogs at risk should be vaccinated against both virus strains. Just recently Merck Animal Health launched Nobivac Canine Flu Bivalent vaccine. This vaccine aids in the control of disease associated with Canine Influenza Virus H3N8 and H3N2 infection. Just like human flu shots, these vaccines may not completely prevent canine influenza, but will make it less likely. And if a vaccinated dog does get the flu, the signs are likely to be milder. Ask your veterinarian if the vaccine is appropriate for your dog(s).
It is recommended that the canine influenza vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccines that prevent respiratory infections in dogs (eg, distemper, parainfluenza virus, and canine cough). Keeping up with the recommended schedule of vaccinations provides the best protection for your dog against respiratory infections. Canine influenza viruses are also causes of canine cough.
If you board your dog at a kennel or daycare facility, be sure to use reputable businesses that you trust. Make sure that the facility is well-managed and clean, and has a plan for isolating dogs with signs of respiratory illness. If you are not sure, talk to the staff about steps they are taking to minimize the risk of CIV infection. They should already have steps in place to prevent its spread.
If your dog has had a recent respiratory infection, be sure to keep him or her at home for at least 2 weeks to allow the dog to recover fully and to minimize the risk of spreading the infection to other dogs. Be sure to clean and disinfect clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease to prevent transmission of infection to susceptible dogs. In addition, routine cleaning of your dog’s food and water bowls and toys with soap and water can help prevent the spread of disease.