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(530) 541-4040

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921 Emerald Bay Rd

South Lake Tahoe CA 96150

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Canine Influenza Virus

Canine Influenza Virus is spread through:

o Close proximity to infected dogs (it is airborne and can travel up to 20 ft.; Dog parks are ideal for spreading the virus)

o Contact with contaminated items (bowls, leashes, crates, tables, clothing, dog runs, etc.)

o People moving between infected and uninfected dogs

o 80% of all dogs that are exposed to the virus will contract it

o The virus lives up to 24 hours on soft surfaces and up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.

Some exposed dogs will be subclinical carriers - meaning some dogs will contract and spread the virus without showing symptoms.

Dogs show clinical signs within 24-48 hours and can shed the virus for up to 28 days from exposure.

Most dogs will completely recover with proper treatment.

Dogs that regularly interact with dogs outside of their own family or frequent places where many dogs gather are most susceptible to exposure to Canine Influenza Virus.


                 Dry, hacking cough (similar to kennel cough)

                 Lack of appetite

                 Lethargy

                 Discharge from the nose or eyes

                 Fever (normal temperature is 101 - 102)


The best protection is vaccination. There is now a vaccination that covers both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the virus. The vaccination requires a booster shot three weeks after the initial vaccine. Vaccination provides the best chance of immunity within 7-14 days of the booster shot.

Isolate sick animals and keep them isolated for up to 30 days after symptoms subside.

Practice good sanitation. Use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas such as tables, bowls, leashes, crates, etc. Allow items to thoroughly air dry for a minimum of 10 minutes before exposing dogs to them. Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas

Wash your hands frequently, ideally between handling different dogs. At the very minimum, hand sanitizer should be used between handling dogs.

Use disposable gowns or wipe down clothing and shoes with a bleach solution between dogs or after leaving an area where dogs congregate.

Food/water bowls should be made of stainless steel instead of plastic because scratched plastic is hard to fully disinfect.


Any dog suspected of having Canine Influenza Virus should be immediately isolated from other dogs and should not attend dog shows, day care, grooming facilities, dog parks, or other places dogs gather. Dogs are contagious prior to showing symptoms and for up to 30 days once the system have started.

Contact your veterinarian to let them know that your dog may be showing symptoms of Canine Influenza Virus. If your dog is going to a veterinary hospital or clinic, call ahead to let them know you have a suspected case of Canine Influenza Virus. They may ask you to follow a specific protocol before entering the clinic to minimize the spread of the disease, including waiting in your car until they are ready to examine your dog.

Keep sick dogs at home and isolated from other dogs and cats until you are certain the illness has run its course (typically 3-4 weeks).


There have been confirmed cases of Canine Influenza (Dog Flu) in the Bay Area, Sacramento, as well as multiple cases in the Reno area. We have the Bivalent Canine Influenza vaccine available. We are recommending it to any dog that is boarding, going to dog parks, dog shows, dogs that are traveling or play with other groups of dogs. The virus can stay alive and contagious on surfaces for up to 48 hours.  If your dog has no direct contact with other dogs or visit other places dogs have been, they still could become infected, If your dog has any symptoms such as coughing, sneezing or nasal discharge please call us to determine if your pet should be seen.