Canine Influenza

Symptoms To Look Out For:

  • Cough
  • Sneeze
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fever


Remember to keep your dog at home and avoid social activities if they are exhibiting these symptoms.

Roscoe Village Animal Hospital strongly recommends vaccinating your dog as soon as possible for the current epidemic of the canine influenza outbreak in Chicago.  Please schedule your appointment by calling 773-549-3131.

For more information regarding canine influenza, please visit our website.

Additional Information:
Chicago Now


Canine Influenza Virus (H2N8)

Canine influenza virus (CIV) causes a respiratory infection in dogs that is often referred to as “dog flu”. CIV is a relatively new virus, so almost 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 get very sick and require hospitalization.

Canine influenza is very contagious, meaning that it is easily spread from dogs that are currently infected to healthy dogs. CIV can pass from dog to dog through virus particles in the air (i.e. through coughing or sneezing) or by coming into physical contact with other dogs (touching noses). It can also be picked up if a dog touches or plays with objects that were touched by infected dogs (for example, food bowls, toys). Humans can even transfer the virus between dogs. For example, they may spread the virus if they touch an infected dog, or even touch a toy or doorknob that the dog has contacted, and then touch another dog before washing their hands.

Signs of Canine Influenza Infection

Be alert for the following signs, which are common in dogs with canine influenza:

  • Mild, low-grade fever (103°F)
  • Lethargy (tiredness)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough, which may be dry or may bring up sputum
  • Runny nose with clear secretions at first, but may later change to a thick and yellow and/or pink-tinged color

If your dog shows any of these signs, contact Roscoe Village Animal Hospital and avoid taking the dog anywhere that other dogs may be exposed until she has made a full recovery.

Disease Course

Of those dogs exposed, the following statistics regarding the general course of illness have been reported:

  • Between 80 to 90% will develop clinical infection
  • About 10 to 20% will become infected but will not show any signs; however, these dogs can still pass the virus to other dogs
  • Most dogs will have a mild disease course
  • Up to 20% of dogs may develop a more severe form, with a high fever (104-106°F) and pneumonia; these dogs usually are admitted to the hospital for treatment
  • Up to 8% of dogs may die from complications of CIV infection

Because of the increased risk of exposure, dog flu is more likely to be transmitted between dogs in locations where dogs are in groups, such as dog parks, grooming facilities, daycare facilities, and boarding facilities. If possible you should avoid taking your dog to these places until the epidemic has died down. You can help prevent the spread of canine influenza by vaccinating your dog, with an effective vaccine, that is now available at Roscoe Village Animal Hospital. The vaccine has been shown to control the spread and decrease the impact of canine influenza. Roscoe Village Animal Hospital strontly recommends vaccinating your dog if he/she has any exposure risk to the influenza virus.

If your dog has any of the signs of CIV infection, you should consider the following:

  • Keep him or her at home and avoid activities where other dogs can be exposed while the dog is coughing or exhibiting other signs of respiratory disease, usually for about 2 weeks.
  • Keeping your dog’s toys and food and water bowls clean with soap and water can also help prevent spread of the disease. You should disinfect your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) and wash clothing after exposure to dogs that have signs of respiratory disease to avoid transmitting infection to other dogs.

If you have any further questions regarding the canine influenza virus please feel free to call us at 773-549-3131.

The Doctors and Staff of Roscoe Village Animal HospitalRoscoe Village Animal Hospital’s veterinarians serves the medical and dental needs of animals in Chicago’s Lakeview, Lincoln Park, North Center, Wicker Park, Uptown , West Loop, Logan Square and Bucktown neighborhoods.

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