Canine Flu

We have not seen or heard of any cases of doggy flu in our area yet, but in other parts of the country, it is going around. We don’t *require* any vaccines for Flu, but they exist. Please read the information via the provided links below, see the Infographic from Cornell (also linked below) and also the bulletin from Rollins Labs, copied in its entirety below. You may wish to talk to your vet to decide if the vaccine is right for your dog. If you do get the vaccine, and want it to be effective for your boarding or daycare visit, please get it at least 21 days prior to your dog’s arrival at SVF. See the below text in the Rollins Labs bulletin for why this is.

Just like when your kids were in school, doggy kids can spread colds and flus to one another here. In addition, a dog showing no symptoms at all can still be contagious, so there is nothing we can do to “prevent” dogs from catching colds or flus here. If you are concerned, and your dog may board or attend the dog park, please consider the vaccine. If your dog shows any symptoms of being sick, you should KEEP THEM HOME! It is always wise not to visit “public” dog parks anyway…but definitely not a good idea when a flu outbreak is around. If you take your dogs to any dog parks besides ours here at SVF, please discontinue this for the safety of all of our SVF dogs. Or, stay home from the SVF dog park until this subsides. This particular outbreak was linked partly to some Dog Shows in the South. Dogs can also spread it at Pet Stores, any other stores they visit, vet clinics, or even on their daily walk in your neighborhood, and even on the clothing of your friends who come over for dinner and have a sick dog at home. We spoke with Dr. Ann at Riversong Veterinary Clinic today and they intend to be stocking the vaccine, if anyone is interested in getting it for their dog.

UPDATE 6/23: Tons of great info here:

From Rollins Labs:
Date: June 2, 2017 at 3:08:16 PM EDT
Subject: ALERT: First Canine Flu Death in NC Confirmed By Rollins Labs

This is very recent news! We will release more details if/when they become available. But for now, please advise your clients to take precautionary measures in order to contain the spread of this highly contagious virus. We have no other info at this time.

Rollins Laboratories has confirmed the death of a dog due to the canine influenza virus (type yet specified). The dog was from the Raleigh area.

Feel free to share this info with clients as you advise them to take precautionary measures in order to protect their pets and to prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus.
Below is info (courtesy of the AKC) you can share with owners in this matter. Feel free to post in your hospitals and share on social media, emails, etc. Let’s nip this in the bud!

Canine Influenza Virus

Canine Influenza Virus is spread through:
Close proximity to infected dogs (it is airborne and can travel up to 20 ft.; Dog parks are ideal for spreading the virus)
Contact with contaminated items (bowls, leashes, crates, tables, clothing, dog runs, etc.)

People moving between infected and uninfected dogs
80% of all dogs that are exposed to the virus will contract it
The virus lives up to 24 hours on soft surfaces and up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.

Some exposed dogs will be subclinical carriers – meaning some dogs will contract and spread the virus without showing symptoms.

Dogs show clinical signs within 24-48 hours and can shed the virus for up to 28 days from exposure.

Most dogs will completely recover with proper treatment.
Dogs that regularly interact with dogs outside of their own family or frequent places where many dogs gather are most susceptible to exposure to Canine Influenza Virus.


Dry, hacking cough (similar to kennel cough)
Lack of appetite
Discharge from the nose or eyes
Fever (normal temperature is 101 – 102)


The best protection is vaccination. There is now a single vaccination for both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the virus. The vaccination requires a booster shot two weeks after the initial vaccine. Vaccination provides the best chance of immunity within 7-14 days of booster shot.

Isolate sick animals and keep them isolated for up to 30 days after symptoms subside.

Practice good sanitation. Use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas such as tables, bowls, leashes, crates, etc. Allow items to thoroughly air dry for a minimum of 10 minutes before exposing dogs to them. Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas

Wash your hands frequently, ideally between handling different dogs. At the very minimum, hand sanitizer should be used between handling dogs.

Use disposable gowns or wipe down clothing and shoes with a bleach solution between dogs or after leaving an area where dogs congregate.

Food/water bowls should be made of stainless steel instead of plastic because scratched plastic is hard to fully disinfect.


Treatment of Canine Influenza Virus requires veterinary assistance. If you believe your dog may have Canine Influenza Virus, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Untreated, the illness may progress to pneumonia or other, more serious problems. H3N2 can lead to severe secondary pneumonia which can cause extremely sick dogs with potential fatalities.

Most dogs take 2-3 weeks to recover from the illness.


Any dog suspected of having Canine Influenza Virus should be immediately isolated from other dogs and should not attend dog shows, day care, grooming facilities, dog parks, or other places dogs gather. Dogs are contagious for up to 30 days once they have started showing symptoms.

Contact your veterinarian to let them know that your dog may be showing symptoms of Canine Influenza Virus. If your dog is going to a veterinary hospital or clinic, call ahead to let them know you have a suspected case of Canine Influenza Virus. They may ask you to follow a specific protocol before entering the clinic to minimize the spread of the disease, including waiting in your car until they are ready to examine your dog.

Keep sick dogs at home and isolated from other dogs and cats until you are certain the illness has run its course (typically 3-4 weeks).

Consideration for Event Venues

Use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas including show floors, grooming tables, ring gates, in-ring examination tables and ramps, and x-pens. Allow solution to completely dry (at least ten minutes in order to assure virus has been killed). Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas.
When wiping down hard surfaces paper towels are preferred over cloth.

Consider having two exam tables at every ring so that they can be cleaned and allowed to air dry frequently in between classes.

Provide hand sanitizer in each ring and in grooming areas.
Exhibitors should consider grooming dogs at their cars instead of using grooming areas where dogs are in very close proximity.

Doggy Flu

Great Infographic from Cornell:
Cornell Flu Info