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What You Should Know About H3N2 Canine Influenza

Dog with ice on it's head.

We’ve received a number of phone calls from clients regarding the H3N2 strain of the Canine Influenza virus also known as “Dog Flu”. After speaking with a few local veterinarians for their opinion, we wanted to be sure to reach out to dog parents, about what can be done to protect your dogs from the virus.

Although no cases have been reported in South Florida, there has been a dozen confirmed cases of H3N2 Canine Influenza in Deland, Florida at two separate dog shows and one reported death from this virus in North Carolina.

How can my dog become infected?

Dog Flu can spread from one dog to another by direct contact from infected dogs, by uninfected dogs coming into contact with contaminated objects (toys, balls, water bowls, etc.), and by moving contaminated objects or materials between infected and uninfected dogs. Meaning, your dog does not have to have direct contact with a dog who has been infected.

The virus can be brought home on your clothing, your hands, and/or on your shoes. This virus is no different than other upper respiratory infection (URI) in the way it’s transmitted between dogs. The difference is that this virus can stay alive on your clothes for up to 48 hours.

This virus also has a longer “shed time” than other URIs, which means that if your dog does contract it, they will have to be quarantined for up to 21 days.

Should my dog be vaccinated?

YES, your dog should be vaccinated if he goes to dog parks, boarding, daycare or dog training facilities, lives in a dog-friendly building, frequents high volume dog-friendly locations, and/or goes to a groomer (brick and mortar or mobile).

If your dog is vaccinated against H3N2, it is 95% effective in reducing passing the virus and in reducing clinical signs of the disease. Should your dog contract H3N2, he wouldn’t become as sick as a dog that does not have the vaccine and would most likely not need as extensive medical care.

What are the symptoms?
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Keep in mind that the signs of infection for H3N2 are similar to those of other respiratory diseases in dogs, but the coughing caused by H3N2 Canine Influenza can last for several weeks and can often lead to pneumonia.

What do I do if my dog shows signs of H3N2 Canine Influenza?

Call your veterinarian immediately and schedule an appointment for your dog to be seen. It has been advised to not bring your dog to your vet clinic without notice. This way the virus won’t spread amongst other patients in the vet’s lobby.

About the Vaccine:

The vaccine is given over two appointments. The initial vaccine and then a booster. The booster is required within 2 – 4 weeks after the initial vaccine.

The H3N2 Canine Influenza vaccine will begin protecting your dog within 7-10 days after both vaccines have been given. Current vaccines will protect your dog from both strains of the Dog Flu.

How We Can Help You!

For many of you, spare time is hard to come by. To make it easier for you to have your dog vaccinated, we are offering our Pet Taxi services for all of our dog clients at the flat rate of $75 per visit, plus the cost of the vaccine & booster.

We will schedule the appointments, provide transportation to and from your vet and because most vet hospitals currently have a waiting list for their patients to receive the H3N2 Canine Influenza vaccine, we will call and secure a spot for your dogs to be vaccinated when your veterinarian receives the vaccine.

We offer this service on a first come, first serve basis, so let us know if you’d like the help!


Clients who board their dogs with us will now be required to have their dog vaccinated for H3N2 Canine Influenza.

Our staff’s dogs have been vaccinated to protect our client’s dogs when they stay in our care, and we ask that your dog’s help protect both ours and their own health by being vaccinated too. We will ask for proof of vaccination and booster prior to the first day of your next service. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Please understand that we are not veterinarians and the above opinion is that of Miami Pet Concierge and does not substitute your veterinarian’s advice. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact your veterinarian directly regarding your pet’s health.


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