Animal General has received many phone calls recently regarding the Canine Influenza Virus and vaccine that has been highlighted on several news programs.
Animal General does take the Canine Influenza Virus seriously, as it can cause illness in our patients ranging from mild to severe (similar to Flu in people), however, the vaccination has not been proven to prevent Canine Influenza in vaccinated dogs. Instead, the vaccine decreases the shedding of the virus and severity of the illness in dogs who contract the influenza virus. Animal General’s recommendation, therefore, is to consider each dog’s risk to other dogs. For instance, if you feel your dog has exposure to many other dogs, especially in closed quarters, you may consider the vaccination to decrease the spread within your local community. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) canine vaccination guidelines, published in 2011, does not recommend Canine Influenza Virus vaccination as a “core” vaccine for dogs.
As always, the doctors and staff at Animal General are available to discuss your dog’s health with you at any time.