Canine Influenza – What you need to know

The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association has confirmed cases of the highly contagious Canine Influenza in North Carolina.

On Monday June 12, 2017, the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA) confirmed “there have been cases (of CIV) in Carteret, Rockingham, and Wake County, as well as in Davidson, NC. There is also a suspicious case in Wilmington, NC. Symptoms are there, but confirmation is pending. Dog shows in Georgia, Florida and Missouri have been the initial source of the virus in cases seen. To date, we know of two confirmed deaths from the virus, one in the Raleigh area, the other in Morehead City.”

We want you to be informed on what canine Influenza Virus (CIV) is and how you can protect your dogs.

What is canine Influenza?

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) is a highly contagious virus that causes respiratory symptoms in dogs. Almost every dog that is exposed to the virus will become infected.

Is my dog at risk?

Your dog is at an increased risk of contracting CIV if he visits boarding or grooming facilities, travels, attends dog shows or visits any other place where dogs gather.

How is CIV transmitted?

Canine Influenza Virus is transmitted from dog to dog through:

  • Direct contact
  • Coughing, barking or sneezing
  • Contaminated items such as clothing, food and water bowls, toys, collars and leashes, pens and crates

What are the symptoms of CIV?

Symptoms will range from mild to severe and include: sneezing, coughing, runny nose or eyes, fever, loss of appetite, weakness.

How can I protect my dog against CIV?

The two main ways to protect your dog from contracting CIV are:

  • Avoid exposing your dog to obviously sick dogs and avoid areas where dogs gather during talk of a possible outbreak.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s exposure risk and if the CIV vaccine is right for him.

What should I do if my dog is showing signs of CIV?

Call your veterinarian and have your pet examined and treated as soon as symptoms start. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions on what to do when you arrive at their facility as they will want to keep your dog away from others to prevent further spread of the virus. In most cases, dogs will recover in about 2-3 weeks with supportive care. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required.

At Johnston Animal Hospital, we are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about Canine Influenza Virus or any other questions you may have about your pet’s care. Please call us anytime Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 am and 5:30 pm 919-934-3511. You can also contact us anytime online via our website.