The so-called Chicago dog flu has nothing to do with Chicago, except that this strain, called H3N2, began in Chicago (in the U.S.) and is now living in the environment (it’s endemic in the Windy City), but dog flu, also known as canine influenza virus (CIV), is all over the country. Now,CIV has turned up at some dogs shows.
Listen HERE, on my national Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show, as Dr. Donna Alexander, Cook County veterinarian, explains how the virus works. For example, this durable virus can even live on humans for a while—on our pants, our shoes, even on our hands—and we can potentially and unknowingly spread it.
Just because you’re not seeing dog flu doesn’t mean it’s not there. And, one vaccine alone doesn’t offer enough protection, a booster shot is required two to four weeks later, so advance planning is vital. If you’re planning to board your dog, take him on vacation with you, or have him around other dogs, talk with your veterinarian about the dog flu vaccine as soon as possible.