Dog Flu: Canine Influenza and Its Latest Strains

Mixed breed dogCanine influenza, or dog flu, is a subject of great concern for many dog owners after last year’s initial outbreak and the more recent 2016 outbreak within the Chicago area. And rightly so, as both incidents have resulted in several cases of flu throughout the Midwest. Because the virus is so contagious, there is substantial cause for worry about how quickly the illness would be spread and its impact on canine health, but there’s no reason to panic, either.

An Overview of Dog Flu

Since the strains of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) continue to imperil our four-legged pals, an understanding of this illness and tactics to reduce exposure are paramount to keeping the flu from continuing to spread.

The CIV strain H3N8 was initially thought to be a strain that was equine endogenous, or affecting only horses. However, the virus mutated and spread to canines sometime around 2004 when an outbreak occurred in Florida among a group of greyhounds. Continue…