monitoring pets behaviors to catch health problems

« Back to Home

The What, Why, & How Behind The Canine Influenza Vaccine

Posted on

One of the vaccines that your veterinarian may present you with for your dog is the canine influenza vaccine, which is designed to fight against the flu and is administered on a yearly basis, just like the flu vaccine for people. However, it is not the exact same vaccinate as the ones for humans. Here are three things you need to understand about the canine influenza vaccine:

What The Canine Influenza Virus Is

The first thing that you need to understand is that the canine influenza virus is actually a virus that is relatively new to the United States. It has just begun to spread in the United States and how prevalent it will become over time is not currently know.

The canine influenza virus can spread really quickly from one pet to another. It can be spread through things like a cough or a sneeze from one pet to another.

The side effects of the canine influenza virus are what you would expect – fever, low energy, cough, low appetite, and sometimes a runny nose. The tough thing about this virus is that it likes to linger, and can take a healthy dog a few weeks to fight off.

Where the canine influenza virus gets worrisome is when both old and young dogs who do not have strong immune systems catch this virus. Due to the long lasting and strong nature of the virus, it can lead to more serious issues, such as pneumonia. Dogs with weaker immune systems, they might not be able to fight this off. 

How The Canine Influenza Vaccine Works

The canine influenza vaccine was developed to fight back against the canine influenza virus that has been spreading in the United States. Due to the nature of how the canine flu virus changes its nature, the vaccine is designed to be administered on a yearly basis. Each year, the make-up of the vaccine is changed a little bit to reflect how the virus has changed and mutated over the past year.

The first time your dog gets the canine influenza vaccine, they will have to get two shots a couple of weeks apart. After that, they will need to get a booster shot every year.

It is important to note that the canine influenza vaccine doesn't stop your dog from getting the canine flu virus; instead, it prevents the effects from being so severe and long lasting. It can also give dogs with weak immune systems a fighting chance against the canine flu.

Why Your Dog Needs It

Your dog needs to get the canine flu vaccine because the virus is spreading around the United States, and it can take a long time for even healthy dogs to recover from this virus. If your dog is young, old, or has a weakened immune system for any other reason, they really should get the vaccine as it will help them stay healthy and fight back against the flu. This vaccination is also more important for dogs who are around other dogs frequently, such as dogs that are allowed to roam free around the neighborhood or dogs that are frequently taken to dog parks. 

Contact a veterinary office like Acequia Animal Hospital for more information and assistance.