The first cases of canine influenza have now been confirmed in Canada. Here is a link to the cbc article with additional information.
Here is a blog I wrote about Canine Influenza two years ago. At that time, it was an informational piece with no cases having been reported in Canada.
Last week the first case of canine influenza, H3N2 strain, was confirmed in Windsor, Ontario and by the end of the week there were 7 confirmed cases. The canine influenza virus has officially made its way into Canada.
What does that mean for your dog and what should you do? First off, read the article linked above to learn more about the disease, how it’s spread and the symptoms of the illness. For the time being Amherst Veterinary Hospital will be monitoring the situation in Ontario closely to see if the number of cases continue to rise and if new cases emerge outside of Ontario.
If any confirmed cases of canine influenza occur in British Columbia and your dog is a social dog with contact with other dogs, then it may be time to have a discussion with your veterinarian about vaccinating your dog against canine influenza.
Luckily, since the writing of the original blog, there is now an updated vaccine available in Canada that protects against both the H3N8 and H3N2 strains. However unless you are planning to travel with your dog to Windsor, Ontario or endemic areas in the United States, there is no need to rush out and vaccinate your dog against this disease just yet.
At Amherst Veterinary Hospital we will continue to stay up to date with emerging diseases and keep our clients informed with changes to vaccination recommendations or prevention strategies.
Dr. Loretta Yuen DVM