Canine Influenza

While humans may be approaching the tail end of the usual “flu season,” there’s no such window for our furry friends.

Canine influenza infections can occur any time of the year and the Indiana State Board of Animal Health says pet owners should be watchful for symptoms as documented cases are on the rise.

Between 2015 and 2018, the Center for Disease Control says Indiana saw more than 50 dog flu cases and surrounding states were some of the most popular for the virus. Nearly 1,000 positive cases occurred in Illinois, while more than 300 happened in Kentucky and Ohio saw nearly 250.


Like humans, symptoms may vary from dog to dog, but include:

  • prolonged coughing
  • fever
  • runny nose
  • eye discharge
  • lethargy
  • reduced appetite

The virus — while not transmittable to humans — spreads easily among dogs, and even some cats, via respiratory secretions and infected objects.  According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 80 percent of dogs exposed develop clinical signs of the virus.

The mortality rate is less than 10 percent, but is on the rise, with deaths mainly occurring in older dogs and puppies with severe forms of the dog flu.


While some antibiotics and medications can be given to dogs to ease symptoms, canine influenza cannot be cured with medications. Like humans, staying hydrated, rest, food and other supportive care can help get your pet back up to optimal health.

Luckily, you can protect your dog from obtaining the virus by having your vet administer the proper canine influenza vaccinations.

This precaution is critical now more than ever. As spring break brings an increase in dog boarding and “doggy daycare” numbers, the virus is quickly and easily spread between social dogs in close proximity.

As one of the first veterinary clinics in Indiana to make the vaccinations a requirement, our team is dedicated to ensuring your dog stays healthy at a price you can afford. Patients with a Pet Prime™ membership receive unlimited free visits as well as all vaccines your pet needs — including the flu vaccine — free of charge.

“Having your dogs receive the vaccination for canine influenza is a wise decision for any owners who regularly have their dog involved with other animals, and with as many animals that come through here on a daily basis it’s a must-have for any of our patients,” Pet Wellness Clinics Owner and Veterinarian Dr. Mike Graves said.” For families thinking about boarding their animals while they’re on vacation over spring break or this summer, remember to plan ahead and get your dogs vaccinated to ensure their health.”

Keep your dog happy, healthy and influenza-free by giving them the proper vaccinations now. Schedule your furry friend’s appointment today.

Your pets deserve the best veterinary care possible