Updated August 4th, 2023
Canine Influenza is a Contagious Virus for Dogs
One in every five dogs developing serious signs of illness that may need supportive care or hospitalization. Canine influenza can be spread easily through contact with respiratory secretions or direct contact with other dogs.
Alii Animal Hospital’s protocol is to administer the Canine Influenza vaccination to our pet patients. Hawaii has not had an outbreak of the Canine Influenza virus previously, but it is present in almost every other state. Many dogs have a higher risk of exposure like humans when traveling both from the mainland and internationally in the cabin of a plane. Because of this, we knew it would eventually be seen here in Hawaii and wanted to best protect our patients – so we made the Canine Influenza Vaccine one of our core vaccines for our highly social dogs.
Symptoms of influenza in dogs can be fever, coughing, sneezing, runny eyes and nose, or difficulty breathing. A small percentage (10-20%) of dogs can have and spread the virus without showing symptoms. In some environments, 80-90% of dogs exposed will become infected with this virus. Sadly, up to 8% of dogs who get sick may die of flu related illness. We are warning pet parents to be cautious if your dog is showing symptoms and to contact us and seek immediate attention.
We have not had any cases at Alii Animal, but want to make all pet parents aware that this virus is going around and to consider preventative care for the health of our local canine community. We highly recommend checking to see if your canine has already received or if your canine needs to start this vaccination. Dogs who are immunized are better protected and have been able to shed the virus within a shorter period of time.
We have the vaccination available at all of our locations. If you are concerned that your pet may be showing symptoms, please call to schedule an urgent appointment. It is important to isolate your pet at home until your appointment and call when you arrive at the hospital, prior to bringing your pet out of the car. This can help prevent exposure to other pets in the community and around the hospital.