Canine influenza is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a “flu” virus. Just like human “flu,” canine influenza is highly contagious. In fact, unless a dog has already had the illness and recovers, virtually every dog exposed to the virus will become infected. Since 2003, there have been numerous reports of influenza outbreaks in veterinary clinics, kennels and shelters. The most common sign of canine influenza is a persistent cough. It’s hard to diagnose canine influenza because many times it can be confused with kennel cough since the signs are very similar. Often canine influenza is not suspected until the illness becomes unusually severe or lasts an unusually long time. Canine influenza spreads the same way that human flu spreads – through direct contact (kissing, licking, nuzzling), through the air (coughing or sneezing), and via contaminated surfaces. A new canine influenza vaccine is available and has been proven to significantly reduce the severity of influenza and the length of time that a dog is sick. Please call us today to find out more information on canine influenza and if your dog should be vaccinated.