Canine Influenza Client Letter

Carrboro Plaza Veterinary Clinic

104 Hwy 54 W, Suite M

Carrboro, NC 27510

June 7th, 2017

Important information regarding Canine Influenza Virus

The highly contagious Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), which was last active in North Carolina in 2015, has recently resurfaced. There have been confirmed cases in North Carolina, including the death of a dog in the Raleigh area.

Dogs have no natural immunity to canine influenza and the majority of dogs (80% or more) who are exposed to this virus will develop symptoms. A small percentage of dogs (15% or less) can contract the disease and spread the virus even though they themselves do not have symptoms.

Symptoms in dogs include:

  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes
  • Fever (normal temperature is 100-102)

Most dogs will show symptoms within 2 to 4 days of exposure. Most dogs will recover with proper treatment. Infected dogs can shed the virus for 7 to 10 days although some dogs can shed the virus for up to 28 days or longer after exposure.

The virus is airborne and can be spread directly from infected dogs. It can also be spread through close proximity to contaminated items such as bowls, leashes and clothing. Dogs that frequent places where other dogs gather such as boarding kennels, dog parks and dog shows have the highest chance to possibly be exposed to this virus if it is present.

What you can do:

The best protection is the Canine Influenza Virus vaccine. The vaccine that is currently available has the two strains: H3N2, H3N8. The first time this vaccine is used a booster vaccine is given 2-3 weeks later. It will take up to a month for your dog to develop adequate immunity. (The identification of the strain of CIV now present in NC is pending.) The vaccine may not completely prevent symptoms but it should reduce the severity and length of time a dog is sick.

The CIV vaccine requires two vaccines 2-3 weeks apart to produce adequate immunity. If you will be taking your dog to a boarding facility, check with them to see if they require this vaccine. Ideally, the vaccine series should be started 4 weeks prior to boarding.

If your dog has symptoms please let us know as soon as you can. Keep your dog away from other dogs to prevent spread until a diagnosis can be made.

For additional information, you can visit this link to our website: Canine Influenza Virus

Our goal is to help you keep your pets healthy. We will post any new information on our Facebook page and website as it becomes available. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for the vaccine, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Dr. Sheri Randell

Hospital Administrator