The Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) has confirmed that two dogs are infected with the H3N2 virus, one of two types of influenza A virus that can infect dogs. The other is H3N8. Both cause an upper respiratory illness that is similar to other bacteria and cold viruses and include mild to moderate cold or flu-like symptoms.
Though H3N2 is highly contagious between canines, most dogs will recover successfully in a week to 10 days.
Jim Evermann, a professor of infectious diseases in WADDL, said canine influenza is most likely to affect animals that are old, young or already challenged by other diseases.
“For that reason, we are advising all dog owners to check and make sure their animals are up to date on their core vaccines that includes canine distemper, canine parvovirus, and canine adenovirus,” Evermann said.
To help protect your dog against H3N2, the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital recommends a list of core vaccines. Evermann said the family veterinarian can also provide the most up-to-date advice regarding specific vaccines and prevention.
The H3N2 canine virus is different than the H3N2 seasonal flu virus that affects people and is not transmissible between dogs and humans.