Canine Influenza Advisory

Posted on Aug 8, 2023 in Main

The Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association is working with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to monitor the current canine influenza situation. Canine influenza virus  (CIV) is a cause of respiratory illness in dogs, and the H3N2 strain was recently diagnosed in four dogs on Oahu. Canine influenza viruses are considered to be highly transmissible through respiratory droplets produced during coughing and sneezing from infected dogs, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. In most cases, the H3N2 strain of canine influenza causes mild respiratory symptoms (e.g., lethargy, sneezing, coughing, discharge from the eye or nose). Occasionally, secondary bacterial infections can lead to pneumonia and severe illness. However, most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks. Any dog owner who thinks their dog has a respiratory disease should isolate their dog from other dogs and seek veterinary care. Transmission to humans has not been reported. 

 There are vaccines for canine influenza but their supply is presently limited from the manufacturers.  The decision on whether to vaccinate a pet depends on the animal’s risk of exposure and health. Immunocompromised pets and dogs that are exposed to environments that congregate a large number of dogs (dog shows, boarding, grooming, dog parks, etc.) are at greater risk than dogs who typically stay at home or do not come into contact with other dogs. Dog owners should avoid taking their pets to areas where they can come into contact with other dogs to minimize potential exposure to CIV.   Owners should consult with their veterinarian to determine whether vaccination is recommended for their pet.