One Flu Two Flu – UPDATE

Dogs – they get the flu, just like me and you.

The strains are not the same, the two now we will name –

First there is the 3, followed by the 8, this one we have seen, across many a state.

Next there is the 3, followed by the 2, this one is a fright, for it is rather new! 

To end this awful rhyme, one last final time, remember your vaccines, blah blah blah string beans.


About two years ago, there was an outbreak in Chicago of a new strain of canine flu, H3N2. As of a few days ago, this strain has now appeared in Florida. Dr. Mitsie Vargas of Orchid Springs Animal Hospital in Winter Haven reports that, of the dogs affected, “eighty percent … will feel better in a week or two, but remain contagious for another two to three weeks, and 20 (percent) will get very sick, develop pneumonia and other serious issues that come with pneumonia”.

*this next segment is titled “Give us a Call.” Writing is all about consistency. I know what I’m doing.

Because H3N2 is a relatively new strain and dogs have little to no predisposed protection against it, we are recommending vaccinating all dogs that come in regular contact with other dogs, for example: daycare, grooming, dog parks, group walks, etc. If this sounds like your pet’s lifestyle, give us a call!

Previously, we at Heart of Chelsea and Lower East Side Animal Hospitals only offered the H3N8 vaccine. But as of this past year, we now offer the H3N8 and H3N2 combination vaccine. We give two vaccines, 3-4 weeks apart, and the combo is boosted once yearly. Right now we are offering a promotional package for the first two vaccines. Give us a call to find out more!

Symptoms of the canine flu include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and loss of appetite or lethargy. As always, if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, give us a call.

Update as of July 2017:

We are now considering the canine flu vaccine to be considered part of your pets “core” vaccines. This means that we recommend administering this vaccine on the same level that we recommend Bordetella, Rabies, and the Parvo-Distemper combo vaccine. Some boarding and grooming facilities are now beginning to require the flu vaccine as well. Because of the imminent threat of H3N2 reaching New York City, we want your pet to be as protected as possible.


Written by Lauren Gamiel, Veterinary Assistant



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