In a follow-up on the H3N2 canine influenza situation in Florida, global animal health companies, Merck Animal Health and Zoetis, makers of the canine influenza vaccine have anticipated additional demand and are increasing vaccine supplies.

Image/James Gathany
Image/James Gathany

To date, officials say that at least a dozen cases have been confirmed. UF College of Veterinary Medicine officials confirm cases have originated in north and central Florida; however, specific county information is not available.

Veterinarians are recommending pet owners vaccinate their dogs.

Two different canine influenza viruses have been isolated in the US (CIV H3N8 and CIV H3N2). The virus causes a respiratory infection in dogs that is often referred to as ‘Canine Flu’. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the causes of CIRDC (Canine Infectious Disease Complex) – also called ‘Canine Cough’ or ‘Kennel Cough’.

CIV H3N2 just recently emerged in the Chicago outbreak of 2015. This virus is of avian origin and not related to the earlier CIV H3N8 virus, which is of equine origin. Therefore, dogs at risk should be vaccinated against both viruses.

Canine influenza viruses are relatively new viruses, so virtually all dogs are susceptible to infection when they are newly exposed because they have not built up natural immunity. Most dogs that develop CIV infection have a mild illness, but some dogs become very sick and require treatment.