A local vet has reported to one of our members that the canine influence virus (CIV H3N2) has been confirmed in Oakland. Seven dogs at the Oakland Animal Shelter are confirmed to have the virus so far, and over 100 dogs are sick.
This is a highly contagious virus and can make dogs very sick. The initial symptoms of this strain of CIV H3N2 are lethargy, low interest in activity, and tiredness, with decreased body temperature (temps around 96° F; normal temperature for dogs is around 101° F). Within a week, this moves to pneumonia and coughing. There is a 3- 4 day incubation period which means that dogs may have contracted the virus but have no symptoms at first. This disease is very contagious and an infected dog can infect other dogs for up to a month. This disease does not get transmitted to people, but it can be very bad for dogs.
You may want to avoid taking your dogs to the East Bay if you don’t live in that area, and if you do, do not take them to dog parks, kennels, day care, or other public places if at all possible. A vaccination is available which requires multiple shots over a 3-week period. The vaccination is not foolproof in preventing your dog from getting the virus but at minimum, it can help reduce symptoms. However, even if your dog is vaccinated, you may want to be cautious about bringing him to public places where the health status of other dogs is unknown.
Here is information from the American Veterinary Medical Association on Canine Influenza.
Please speak with your veterinarian about the right steps to take for your dog.