CANINE INFLUENZA VACCINE 1ST
Canine Influenza is a highly contagious viral disease of dogs that causes very similar symptoms that human 'flu causes in humans: fever, malaise, coughing, nasal discharge. When a dog has an uncomplicated case of Canine Flu, the course of disease is 7-10 days, and chances of survival are excellent. However, if a dog is exposed to other respiratory diseases at the same time as a Flu infection, especially Canine Distemper and/or Kennel Cough, the mix of the multiple diseases is much more serious, with a high rate of mortality. Many dogs with a mix of Canine Flu and other respiratory infections end up with a hemorrhagic pneumonia and die within 24 hours.
The Canine Influenza vaccine is effective at preventing Canine Flu; it is given as an initial 2-shot series, then boostered annually. We highly recommend it for dogs with significant risk factors: a "snub-nose" anatomy (snub-nose breeds are very susceptible to respiratory infections, have a higher mortality rate, and have a harder time clearing the disease), heart and/or pulmonary disease (such as dogs with congestive heart failure, a history of heartworm infestation, etc), suppressed immune systems (such as after chemo therapy), and competition dogs (show dogs, performance dogs, search & rescue dogs, etc).