Canine influenza?

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by *blackrose, May 1, 2014.

  1. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Apparently Canine Influenza (H3N8 virus) is a big thing down here. I have never heard of it, but while doing my multiple interviews saw signs and such advertising the vaccine for it. According to a vet tech I spoke with, they had a bad outbreak awhile back that completely shut down the humane society and they were seeing a LOT of ill dogs.

    Anybody know anything about it? Would it be worth vaccinating for? Is it something that needs to be boostered annually, or would it trigger enough of an immune response that if the dog were exposed to the virus at a later point, it would still have memory cells to begin fighting the infection?

    I was reading here and it looks like it doesn't 100% prevent the flu, but lessons the symptoms.

    I don't vaccinate for bordetella on the theory that if the dogs were to contract it, they would be healthy enough to put up a good fight themselves/with the help of some mild medication. Is this Canine Influenza in a similar category, or is it more serious?

    I'm not really worried about Abrams so much (he's young and healthy), but with Cynder and her underlying megaesophagus, it concerns me. She's already at risk for pneumonia due to possible aspiration, really don't need to add to the risk.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I think they took advantage of humans fear of the "flu" and developed a vaccine to capitalize in the canine market too. :) but I'm just a crazy. But ask yourself why you've never heard of it before? how many dogs do you know that have had the "flu"? are influenza viruses newly evolved? did canine one's just appear? hence the new vaccine? I know a lot of dog people and they only time i hear about the canine flu is on the internet and in a vets office via marketing materials.

    anyway, not sure how the canine one works, I know in humans they offer up some protection for 6 months to a year, come claims show up to 3 years for that exact strain only, but 6 -18 months is the more accepted belief right now. Make of it what you will.
     
  3. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    I had never heard of it either.... Until I started making reservations for one of our vacations and all the daycares in that area required it. So, now my dogs have it and my local vet didn't even have a spot for it in his computer system. HaHa.

    I can't tell you much about the vaccine or the virus honestly and I don't know how similar it is to the way the human Flu works. I know it's required yearly to be considered "up-to-date." And I've only seen the one strain advertised on the vaccine... With the human flu shot they put several strains in one vaccine bc who knows which one will really come around and it's always different. That alone makes me not so inclined to give it, except for the times I need to put the dogs in day care.
     
  4. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I just moved down south, where it is more of an issue. Up in Indiana, it wasn't even a blip on our radar. LOL

    The flu virus that is affecting the dogs is new; ie, I think 2006 was the first reported case, or something to that effect. It was a strain prior only seen in horses, and then it mutated and jumped to dogs.

    From my understanding, it isn't a "multi-virus" vaccine, because, well, there is only one virus.

    I'm pretty sure my dogs are low risk...the only exposure they have to other dogs is when we go to the beach, and that may only be twice a month. I'm sure I'll have to vaccinate for it if I ever board them, though.
     
  5. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    why is canine influenza worse where it is warmer? if there is only one strain, why the numbered designation? Does that seem consistent with other viruses out in the wild? Is the virus new, or just the fact they actually tried to isolate that is new? They tried to tell us B. burgdorferi was new at one point too. Turns out it's been around for thousands of years at least.
     
  6. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    There is a local service dog organization that takes in shelter dogs and trains them into SDs. I heard that they got in a dog that had Canine Influenza, and it made many of their dogs sick. Now they require every dog on the property to be vaccinated for it.

    BUT. While I was doing research on it, the SD organization seems to promote the vaccine (and vice versa), so I'm not sure how propaganda-y it is. I'm a little wary that it is a clever campaign by Merck.
     
  7. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    I would assume a number designation based solely on the fact that it's a type of flu virus. Regardless of whether it's the only canine one, it's still a flu and needs to be sorted and filed. Or maybe there are other canine flus, but this particular strain is the only one that solicits bad symptoms and is therefore the only one included in the vaccine. Numbering viruses of the same family makes things easier for file keeping & information sharing.

    I only brought up the one strain thing bc of how quickly the flu virus mutates in humans. Plus there are usually a few flu viruses circulating at any given time... One may be the worst, but you could catch one of the others as well.
     
  8. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    The first documented case was seen at a Greyhound track down south. I imagine it's prevalent down here purely because of the location to the initial outbreak. Honestly, I don't know.

    As for the one strain thing, It's numbered because it is an influenza virus. Like was said...it's for documentation. Kind of like H1N1. This is H3N8.

    I believe it is a viable illness that affects dogs....I just wasn't sure how easy it was to overcome versus trying to prevent.
     
  9. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    It's super regional. We really don't see it up here, so I don't have any experience with the vaccine, sorry.

    The one thing I know about it is that uncommonly, it can progress SUPER fast to a really nasty, fulminant pneumonia. When the first outbreaks happened several years ago it was like the sky was falling because of these really, really bad cases, and now it seems to have fallen back to the back burner in areas of the country where it isn't common.
     
  10. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I personally feel the vaccine is still too 'new' to really be trusted. It's not something I would really want to give.

    This is a quote from Dr.Schultz...
     
  11. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I think for my ease of mind I'm going to at least do the initial series for both dogs. After that, I may or may not choose to do it again based on risk factors. I'm fairly certain boarding facilities here require it, and if I ever need to board the dogs if we fly out to visit family instead of drive, it will be a moot point regardless.
     
  12. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I wasn't asking questions because I needed to hear answers. I was hoping it would push further independent thought. Oh well, my take. Its been around much longer than 2004, that's just when it was noticed and isolated. I'm sure there have been many others over the past few thousand years as well as those in recent times. We never heard about it before because it wasn't profitable, nor was it a really big deal. Now there's a vaccine, something to sell, funny how its rise in awareness coincides isnt it?
     
  13. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Very regional. It pops up and spreads like crazy, and then it vanishes again. There was an outbreak here maybe three years ago and then it disappeared completely. A few weeks ago, there were two confirmed via lab testing cases in daycare dogs in the town that I live in.

    Too close to home for me. I vaccinated Bean because he goes to daycare (different place, but still), and Steve because he's my service dog and I need for him to stay healthy if at all possible.

    It can be indistinguishable from kennel cough or it can be much more serious.
     

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