Canine Influenza Update




We are aware of two confirmed positive dogs in Louisiana. A veterinarian in Monroe reports several suspect cases and has a confirmed PCR result for H3N2 in one dog. Generally, the cases were stable and treated as outpatients at home. A dog show appears to be the source of exposure. 



Influenza in Pets fact sheet from La Dept of Health (Dr. Balsamo, Assistant State Epidemiologist, State Public Health Veterinarian) 

AVMA's resource page on Canine Influenza 


The Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab (LADDL) is able to test samples for influenza. 


The sample required is two nasal (or pharyngeal) swabs from the patient.  

Use sterile culture swabs, but rather than placing them in the culturette media, they should be cut and placed in a sterile red top tube.  


Specimen Submission Guidelines and Fees for PCR Testing


The influenza tests are in the "molecular diagnostics" portion of the LADDL request form.


Specimen Submission Form



The LADDL team runs a matrix PCR screening for all Type A influenza viruses and if there is a positive, then it gets confirmed to the specific subtype (H3N2, H3N8, etc.).


The best prevention is to avoid exposure by keeping your pet at home. Avoid activities and areas where dogs gather and mingle.  



Source: Compendium of Veterinary Products


Bivalent vaccine available

H3N2/H3N8 vaccine (Nobivac®, Merck Animal Health):

  • for healthy dogs 7 weeks or older
  • single dose followed by a booster dose 2 - 4 weeks later
  • annual re-vaccination

Single valent vaccines available

H3N2  (Vanguard® CIV H3N2; Zoetis)

  • for healthy dogs 8 weeks of age or older
  • single dose followed by a booster dose 3 weeks later.
  • annual re-vaccination

H3N8  (Vanguard® CIV H3N8; Zoetis)

  • for healthy dogs 8 weeks of age or older
  • 2 doses administered 3 weeks apart
  • annual re-vaccination

H3N2 (Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N2; Merck Animal Health)

  • for healthy dogs 6 weeks of age or older.
  • single dose followed by booster dose 2 - 4 weeks later.
  • re-vaccination as advised by veterinarian

H3N8  (Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N8; Merck Animal Health)

  • for healthy dogs 6 weeks of age or older
  • single dose followed by a booster dose 2 - 4 weeks later.
  • annual re-vaccination


For suspect cases presenting to the clinic, owners should be advised to wait with their pet in an air conditioned vehicle.  

Owner should call the clinic and the pet should be initially assessed by a veterinarian for medical stability and for suspicious history (e.g. recent boarding or dog shows, etc.).



Mild form

Dogs suffering with the mild form of canine influenza develop a soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days. They may also be lethargic and have reduced appetite and a fever. Sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose may also be observed. Some dogs have a dry cough similar to the traditional "kennel cough" caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica/parainfluenza virus complex. Dogs with the mild form of influenza may also have a thick nasal discharge, which is usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection.

Severe form

Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza develop high fevers (104ºF to 106ºF) and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort. Pneumonia may be due to a secondary bacterial infection.


Treatment depends on the pet's condition, including the presence or absence of co-infection with other pathogens, secondary bacterial infections, pneumonia, dehydration, or other medical issues (e.g., co-infections). Antibiotics may be used for secondary or co-infecting pathogens; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may reduce fever. Dehydrated pets may need fluid therapy.  Other medications, or even hospitalization, may also be necessary for more severe cases.


Most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks with supportive care.  Prognosis is good and mortality rates are low in reported outbreaks (less than 10%).