Just like people, dogs can be affected by different strains of influenza. H3N8 first caused disease in 2004 and continues to cause sporadic disease. Over the past year we have seen outbreaks of a new strain of influenza, H3N2, in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana and Illinois. Although the H3N2 strain has yet to cause disease in the Northeast, with the frequent travel of pets throughout the United States we recommend vaccinating against the new H3N2 strain.
Currently we have been vaccinating our patients against H3N8. In January we began carrying a bivalent influenza vaccine that will provide protection against both the H3N8 and H3N2 strains. Because the vaccine will be carrying the new strain, H3N2, we will need to booster the influenza vaccine in order to fully provide protection against H3N2. The vaccine booster should occur 2 to 4 weeks after the initial vaccination.
For those dogs already vaccinated in 2017, we can start the new influenza vaccine when your dog is normally due or if you would like your dog protected against the new H3N2 strain now, please call to schedule an appointment for the influenza vaccine.
If you have any questions, please call our office at 978-356-1119