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Posted on 04-15-2015

As most of you know by know, there is an outbreak of canine flu occurring in the midwest, including a confirmed case in Madison, Wisconsin.  However, this outbreak has been linked not to the H3N8 flu strain, but to a strain from Asia called H3N2.  It is unknown how this virus arrived in our area, and probably not that important.  What is important is that it is here now.  There is currently no vaccine to prevent this disease, but anecdotal evidence is suggesting the Nobivac CIV H3N8 vaccine works.  A doggie day care in the Chicagoland area called the Dog Spot  http://www.dogspot.org/index.imw?cat=1&sub=0&dbx=1  has required all dogs to be vaccinated against H3N8, and has not had to close up because of the outbreak.  Other daycare facilities were not so fortunate, as seen on the Today Show earlier today.  http://www.today.com/video/today/57244039  

People are not at risk of catching this disease, but we can spread it.  Practicing good hygiene, washing hands frequently and being aware of strange dogs encountering yours are all ways to make sure your pets don’t get sick.  And yes, it turns out cats can get this strain, and there are no vaccines whatsoever for them.  While this all seems like bad news right now, there is research being conducted right now to find a vaccine for H3N2, and to study whether or not the current H3N8 vaccine is helpful.  We are currently offering the Nobivac CIV H3N8 vaccine at our clinic, but due to the demand, we were only able to acquire enough for 100 dogs.  Highly social dogs or dogs whose owners work with dogs and cats are the most important ones to vaccinate.  For more information, follow this link:   http://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/canine-influenza-new-strain/

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