Dog Flu at Dog Shows


Just because you’re not hearing about overwhelming cases dog flu doesn’t mean it’s not out there. In Chicago, the city’s municipal shelter still sees H3N2 (the strain discovered in the U.S. from Southeast Asia in 2015). And certainly it’s popped up around the country.

And if there’s a dog flu season this is it – or will soon be, as people depart on vacations and place their dogs in boarding facilities. All it takes is one sick dog and the entire place can get the flu. Actually, all it takes is one dog who isn’t necessarily sick, as around 20 percent of dogs carrying the canine influenza virus don’t exhibit symptoms but remain infectious.

And now consider dogs participating in dog shows American Kennel Club veterinarian, Dr. Jerry Klein, released the following message on his personal Facebook page regarding suspected cases of canine influenza at recent Southeast dog shows. This is an informal message from Dr. Klein.

“Dear Dog Show Exhibitors In The Southeast, there have been reports of sick dogs suspected of having canine influenza. Dogs that were at Perry Georgia shows or Florida shows in the past 7-10 days, please monitor your dogs closely. If they are not acting normally, DO NOT GO TO FURTHER SHOWS . Contact your local veterinarian about the possibility of influenza. Containing an outbreak is critical. Remember, incubation period of 2-5 days, and these dogs may be shedding the virus while showing no signs. Dogs with fevers, poor appetites, coughing, sneezing, runny eyes/noses should NOT be exposed to other dogs. Remember, humans can act as vectors. Do this for the safety of your dogs and other dogs as well!!”

Below are the symptoms of canine infectious respiratory disease complex (which would include dog flu) and which dogs are most at risk, however, it’s noted that even dogs on walks might be at risk in communities where there is active flu.

Prevention is key, of course. Ask your veterinarian about the vaccination for the canine influenza virus.

Learn more about the dog flu