Canine Influenza Virus

Veterinary Alert

THE BAD NEWS – There have been outbreaks of Canine Influenza in Southern California including Orange County.

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) is a highly contagious canine respiratory infection characterized by fever; nasal discharge; persistent cough; poor appetite; dehydration and sometimes even death.

This is a relatively new viral disease in dogs. Only dogs that have been vaccinated with the CIV vaccine will have immunity to this debilitating virus. CIV can spread rapidly wherever dogs congregate - shelters; grooming facilities; dog parks; play groups; etc. The virus is spread through direct contact; coughing; sneezing; or virus-contaminated surfaces.

Almost all susceptible dogs exposed to CIV will become infected with 10% - 20% of the dogs developing the severe form of the infection. Unfortunately, a small percentage of ill patients may die from the CIV infection. Since antibiotics cannot be used to treat viral infections, they may be used to treat the secondary bacterial infections.

CIV will be a serious on-going threat in dogs for many years to come.

For multi-pet households, please be aware that cats can contract the virus to which there is no vaccine available.


THE GOOD NEWS – There is an effective vaccine to protect dogs against both CIV strains. All Creatures Hospital has been vaccinating dogs for CIV for the past 6 years. We strongly recommend the CIV vaccine for all dogs that go to groomers; dog parks; kennels; or anywhere dogs gather together. In addition, our doctors strongly recommend vaccinating your dogs BEFORE adopting a new dog into your household.

For more information, please visit:

Call for an appointment at All Creatures Hospital, Del Mar, CA  (858) 481-7992

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