"In general, any dog that is in a closed room with other dogs for at least 6 hours or more can be considered at risk."

- Ronald Schultz, PhD
Department of Pathobiological Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Canine influenza continues to spread

The need for vigilance regarding canine influenza remains high. Since the canine influenza virus (CIV) was first reported in 2004 in dogs in Florida,1 the virus has spread from state to state with no sign of stopping. In May 2009, the disease had been confirmed in 30 states. Since then, 10 more states have had documented cases, and the virus continues to spread.

FIGURE: Canine influenza cases now documented in 40 states1

US states with Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) infected dogs

Canine influenza is a highly contagious disease that knows no boundaries

What began as an isolated episode of respiratory disease in 1 state has now become a nationwide health concern for all dogs. This is not surprising, given that:

  • CIV is a new virus, and dogs have no natural immunity to it
  • Dogs are mobile and move from or through affected states-especially rescue dogs and dogs that travel with their owners
  • Many dogs are boarded or go to daycare or grooming facilities where close contact to other dogs puts them at high risk

Wherever dogs congregate, CIV is easily spread by:

  • Direct contact, such as when dogs kiss, lick, or nuzzle each other
  • Droplets in the air from a cough or sneeze
  • Contaminated objects, such as doggie bowls, doorknobs, or clothing
  • The hands of pet owners, veterinary clinic staff, and shelter workers

In light of these factors, it is becoming more common to require canine influenza vaccination for all dogs entering pet care facilities, just as is required for Bordetella―another highly contagious pathogen that causes respiratory disease. Vaccination can help prevent the spread of canine influenza. Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N8 has been shown to control the spread and decrease the impact of canine influenza. 33

Required flu vaccinations are becoming more common. A recent survey of pet care business owners, including kennels, daycares, and groomers, showed that 1 out of every 5 pet care facilities surveyed (21%) requires flu vaccination in addition to Bordetella vaccination. 3