Dog Flu Vaccination Day in Chicago


The Anti Cruelty shut down for adoption recently because of the dog flu (they’ve re-opened and happily adopting healthy dogs), and Chicago Animal Care & Control still is grappling with dog flu. It’s obviously ‘out there’ in the environment.  And various clinics are seeing flu too. Also, this strain, H3N2, effects some dogs pretty profoundly; some get really sick and some have died. Others have no symptoms whatsoever – great for those individual dogs – but not so great for the community because they’re infectious and their people have no way to know that.  All true, all a potential serious problem for your dogs – UNLESS you vaccinate!



Discounted Vaccines Available to Encourage Dog Owners to Protect Their Dogs from Highly Contagious Canine Influenza

On Tuesday March 14, 2017, several local veterinary clinics are partnering with Merck Animal Health for a Chicago Dog Flu Vaccination Day (CDFVD), during which discounted dog flu vaccines will be offered to Chicagoland pet owners. This initiative is in response to a recent outbreak of canine influenza virus, also known as CIV or dog flu, among Chicago-area dogs.

“The dog flu is highly contagious to dogs and spreads quickly in urban areas like Chicago so it is critical that we quickly contain further spread,” says Dr. Donna Alexander, VMD, Administrator of Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control. “The best approach is prevention. Vaccination can save dogs’ lives, which is why Cook County is encouraging all dog owners to vaccinate their dogs against both strains of the dog flu, H3N8 and H3N2.”

CDFVD is city wide. All dog owners are urged to unite in the effort to stop the spread of this infectious disease.  Dog owners are encouraged to call their local veterinarian to check if they are participating and to make an appointment for Tuesday, March 14, 2017. To see which clinics are participating in the event, search #ChicagoCIVDay on Twitter or Facebook.

Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health and well-being of animals, and is committed to helping pet owners understand what they can do to protect their pets from dog flu. CDFVD is another part of Merck Animal Health’s If This Dog Could Talk campaign, aimed at educating pet owners about dog flu and encouraging vaccination against both strains of the disease. For more information on dog flu or If This Dog Could Talk, visit

About Canine Influenza

Canine influenza virus H3N8 first appeared in the United States in 2003 and since then has been diagnosed in 42 states, most recently in Missouri and Montana.

  • In 2015, a new strain of canine influenza emerged called H3N2, which has already spread to at least 30 states.
  • The H3N8 and H3N2 viruses have different origins and are not closely related; therefore it is important dogs are vaccinated against both strains to ensure they are protected.
  • It has been reported that H3N2 infected dogs produce 10 times more virus than dogs infected with the first strain (H3N8), potentially making it more contagious. H3N2 may be shed for up to 24 days, which is longer than what is seen with H3N8.1However, both viruses can spread quickly among social dogs.
  • The viruses can be transmitted directly from dog to dog through droplets from sneezing and coughing or indirectly through fomites.