Dr. Robin Westwood, owner at Country Friends Veterinary Clinic, shares her insight on the flu season and how it might affect your dog.

We have been made aware of an outbreak of a new strain of Dog Flu (H3N2) in Austin Texas.  As of this time the outbreak is contained. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has a great article on information on the dog flu.

This may be viewed at:
https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Canine-Influenza-Backgrounder.aspx

There are 2 vaccines for the 2 different strains of the Dog Flu, H3N8 and H3N2.  We currently provide the H3N8 strain vaccine and are looking into potentially providing the H3N2 vaccine.  An initial vaccine is given, repeated in 4 weeks, and then is administered on a yearly basis.  This vaccine may not prevent a dog from getting the Flu but it will lessen the symptoms.

Per the AVMA guidelines, not all dogs need this vaccine.  The AVMA states the following:

“The canine influenza vaccine is a “lifestyle” vaccine, and is not recommended for every dog. In general,

the vaccine is intended for the protection of dogs at risk for exposure to the canine influenza virus,

which include those that either participate in activities with many other dogs or are housed in

communal facilities, particularly where the virus is prevalent.”

This includes show dogs, dogs that travel and come into contact with lots of other dogs, shelter animals, and animals that potentially are boarded frequently.

Dr. Robin Westwood, owner of Country Friends Veterinary Clinic, has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 16 years. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University and enjoys caring for pets and their families. If you have any further questions or are concerned about whether or not your dog needs to be vaccinated please give us a call at 972-636-9562.