What you need to know about the Canine Flu

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We’ve been hearing a lot about the new canine flu that has been affecting dog’s in Ontario.  We, like you are worried about the impact that may make on the dog’s living in our neighboroughood.  So we thought it best to try and address some of the questions you may have regarding this flu.

What are the symptoms:

The H3N2 canine flu is a highly contagious virus that is passed between dog’s.    The unfortunate bit of this is, that this virus is shed before signs or symptoms even exist.

The symptoms are exactly the same as those of Kennel Cough, which include, lethargy or depression,  a decrease in appetite, coughing, runny nose and eyes.  Dog’s that have Kennel Cough or the H3N2 flu may display all or only one of these symptoms (most commonly coughing).  That does not mean you need to worry if you notice your dog’s nose has a drip or two

Who is at risk:

Older and very young dog’s are at highest risk, or those with underlying respiratory or heart diseases.  Brachycephalic breeds (smushy face) are also categorized as higher risk.

Healthy adult dog’s may contract the virus but it will most likely resolve itself within 2-3 weeks.  Some of these cases may require supportive care in the form of a cough suppressant or an anti-inflammatory.

If your dog fits in the high risk category and you and your pet are traveling to the affect areas, vaccination is the best way to keep your pet safe.  If you are traveling there within the next month, it may be in your dog’s best interest to find them somewhere local to stay instead of risking exposure.  

How  might my dog be exposed: 

Places where multiple dog’s are together are the spots  where your pet will be at highest risk.  Dog parks, boarding or daycare facilities, obedience classes etc.   The flu can be passed easily from direct contact, being coughed or sneezed on, or even by sharing a toy with an affected dog.

How worried do us East Yorkers need to be:

In all honesty – not very.  So far the cases that have been seen have been reported in 3 specific areas, the Muskoka’s, Grimsby/ Niagara, and Northumberland.

The cases in the Muskoka’s and Grimsby/Niagara area’s were contained and currently there are no know active cases.  The biggest concern are those cases that were found in Northumberland county, as it has been less contained.

How can Woodbine Animal Clinic help: 

We’ve got your pet covered!  To help keep your pet protected we now have the flu vaccine on hand.  Any dog that is up-to-date on their annual exam and vaccines can come in for a brief exam and flu immunization with a reduced  examination fee.

*Please note: If your dog’s exam and or vaccines are overdue, regular fees will apply.

Is there any risk to people:

No there is not.  This virus is different from the human N3N2 virus and so there is no concern that any person will be affect by the canine virus.

If you think your dog may have been exposed to or is showing signs of the flu it is important to keep your pet away from other dog’s.  Majority of dog’s will not need veterinary care, but if you are worried, please feel free to give us a call.  We ask that you do not bring your dog into the clinic without speaking with one of our staff first.  If we deem that your dog does require a visit, we will have you wait outside so as not to expose any other pets to the virus. .    Any dog’s that are suspected of carrying the virus should be kept away from other dog’s for 4 weeks to ensure it is not spread any further.

For ongoing updates or more in depth information regarding the H3N2 virus,  you can visit




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