As with any disease caused by a virus, treatment is largely supportive. Good animal care practices and nutrition assist dogs in mounting an effective immune response.
The course of treatment depends on the pet’s condition, including the presence or absence of a secondary bacterial infection, pneumonia, dehydration, or other medical issues (e.g., pregnancy, pre-existing respiratory disease, compromised immune system, etc.). The veterinarian might prescribe medications, such as an antibiotic (to fight secondary infections) and/or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (to reduce fever, swelling and pain). Dehydrated pets may need fluid therapy to restore and maintain hydration. Other medications, or even hospitalization, may also be necessary for more severe cases.
Dogs with canine influenza should be isolated to prevent transmission of the virus to other dogs or, in the case of H3N2, cats.
The first canine vaccine for H3N8 canine influenza was approved in 2009, and there are several H3N8 canine influenza vaccines available.
In November 2015, the H3N2 canine influenza vaccine became available. None of the currently available vaccines are approved for use in cats.
At LVC, we use a CIV vaccine that covers both H3N8 and H3N2 strains. Give us a call if you are concerned about your dog’s risks.