Canine influenza: Veterinary resources

Black and brown dog held by person
In this article:
  • Refresh your understanding of canine influenza.
  • Review how to recognize, diagnose, and prevent the disease.
  • Find materials about canine influenza to share with clients.

Canine influenza, sometimes referred to as dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by two specific type A influenza viruses known to infect dogs. One is an H3N8 virus, and the other is an H3N2 virus.

Most dogs in North America have no preexisting immunity to canine influenza virus, making them highly susceptible to infection. The majority of canine influenza cases in dogs have been reported in association with multicentric, non-sustaining outbreaks.

Infection with the H3N2 canine influenza virus has been occasionally diagnosed in cats, with cats in animal shelters at highest risk. There is no evidence that canine influenza is contagious to people.

Pet owner resources

Client handoutCanine influenza client handout

Download our client-ready handout, available only to AVMA members. 

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Black and white handout

Canine influenza in pets

Share information with pet owners about how canine influenza impacts pets, and how they can help prevent the virus from spreading.

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Canine infectious respiratory disease complex

Help pet owners recognize the signs of canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC), or “kennel cough,” and how to protect their pets from this highly contagious illness affecting the respiratory tract in dogs.

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