Flu season is around the corner, which means it is time to begin taking preventative measures against infectious disease. Millions of humans this year will receive a flu shot. Should your dog be vaccinated against the flu as well? Here, everything a pet owner should know about H3N8 canine influenza virus will be discussed, as well as the options for prevention.
What are H3N8 and H3N2 CIV?
In 2004 researchers identified a previously unknown virus in a population of racing Greyhounds. The virus, which was named the H3N8 canine influenza virus (CIV), had adapted from a horse-specific flu strain a canine-specific strain. Prior to 2004, dogs were not believed to be able to catch any form of the flu.
Since then, H3N8 CIV has been identified in at least 38 states across America. The dog flu is highly contagious and can quickly spread among densely packed dog populations, such as in boarding kennels. In 2015, H3N2 was identified in dogs for the first time in the United States. Previously, this disease strain had only been seen in Asia.