Canine Influenza Virus (CIV)
Many dog owners are asking if the current Merck vaccine Nobivac Canine Influenza H3N8 is protective against the new Asian strain H3N2. The short answer is, we don’t know. We do know that to date, dogs that have died from the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) have not been vaccinated (see information below from Dr. Jill Lopez).
Until scientists are able to answer this question, the current recommendation is to vaccinate against N3H8 with the hopes that this vaccine will provide cross-protection against the new strain.
Fast Facts and Recommendations:
- Vaccinate against H3N8 if you are in an area endemic for Canine Influenza (Mid-Atlantic region), in the Midwest, or if you travel with your dog.
- Vaccinate against H3N8 if you board, show or socialize your dog on a regular basis. Vaccine-induced protection can take up to 2 weeks – keep your dog away from areas where large numbers of dogs congregate for two weeks after immunization and minimize socialization. A booster, two to three weeks after initial vaccination, is often required.
- Even after immunization, take precautions when socializing or showing your dog. Minimize dog-to-dog contact, practice frequent hand washing and minimize the time your dog spends in common spaces such as the benching area.
Jill Lopez, DVM April 13, 2015:
Will the Nobivac Canine Influenza H3N8 vaccine protect against H3N2 (new CIV of Asian-origin responsible for Chicago canine influenza)?
Merck provides a canine influenza vaccine, Nobivac Canine Influenza, which has been proven to provide protection against the H3N8 strain of the virus. While vaccines may provide a certain amount of cross-protection against different strains of the same virus, it is not known if the current vaccine will provide any protection from this new virus. Studies are underway to determine if cross protection is possible with Nobivac Canine Influenza. However, Merck Animal Health reviewed case details that had been submitted to Cornell for testing. To date, all dogs that tested positive for Canine Influenza in this sampling did not have a dog flu vaccination for Canine Influenza.
Help Future Generations of Dogs
Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.