New Canine Influenza requirements - effective 4/1/2016

An outbreak of canine influenza virus (CIV) type H3N8 emerged in Florida in 2004.  Clinical  signs
of this highly contagious illness include coughing, sneezing, nasal and ocular discharge.  Most
dogs recovered, but some developed complications and required hospitalization. Since 2004,
the virus has spread to 36 states.  A vaccine was developed in 2009, and we began requiring it
for our boarding and daycare guests.

In 2015, an outbreak of a new type of CIV, H3N2,  occurred in the Chicago area.  This influenza
virus, originally from an avian source,  has a higher mortality rate then the previous H3N8 strain.  
Since March, this new virus has been detected in 29 states.  A vaccination for this strain has just
received approval.  The vaccine manufacturers are urging us to require vaccinations for both

Our goal is to protect the health and welfare of all of our patients and guests.  Rather than  
adopting the vaccine companies' recommendations,  we have elected to follow a protocol more
similar to the human model,  and require only the vaccine for the strain that is currently of  the
most concern,  which has been confirmed to be H3N2.

Dr. Reiff consulted with experts in the field - Dr. Melissa Kennedy, DVM, PhD, DACVM, Clinical
Virologist at the University of Tennessee, and Colin Parrish, PhD, Professor of Virology at Cornell
University's Baker Institute of Animal Health, who is actively studying this strain,  before making
this decision.  Both experts confirmed that the H3N8 outbreaks are now small, infrequent and in
isolated locations while  H3N2 is spreading quickly and has been seen to cause more severe

We are in a unique situation in Southwest Florida  in that we have "SnowDogs" visiting us from
many states this time of year, and therefor the potential for outbreak is high.  Keep in mind that
this is a "Lifestyle Vaccination" and is recommended only for dogs that come in contact socially
with other dogs ; those that go to dog parks, dog beaches , groomers, boarding, daycare or dog
social events. The virus is most contagious to other dogs before any symptoms are present and
can be spread aerosolly, through direct contact or through contact with fomites (water bowls,
combs, toys, hands,  etc)

As of April 1, 2016, we will be requiring the H3N2 vaccination for all boarding and daycare
guests.  Like the first Influenza vaccine, it is a 2 part vaccination with boosters given 2-4 weeks
apart, then yearly.  For those guests current on their H3N8 the cost of the second booster will be

While it will no longer be required, we will continue to have the vaccination for the H3N8
available for dogs that wish to remain current, for dogs going to an area where a recent
outbreak is documented or if there is a change in the epidemiology of this strain.

Your pet's health is of our utmost concern.  We will continue to follow updates on this disease
and adjust any protocols accordingly. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Links for more info about  Canine Influenza:

Cornell University Site


CDC site
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