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H3N2 Canine Influenza Virus Fact Sheet from the University of Florida



What is H3N2 Canine Influenza Virus?

H3N2 canine influenza virus (H3N2 CIV) is a very contagious influenza virus that infects dogs. This virus recently emerged in the US in 2015. It has already infected thousands of dogs in more than 30 states.  H3N2 CIV has also infected cats but there is no evidence that it can infect people.

What does H3N2 CIV cause?

H3N2 CIV causes a respiratory infection in dogs that is also known as dog flu.  Common symptoms include sneezing, nasal discharge, and frequent coughing that can last for 2 weeks or more. Many dogs have a fever, decreased appetite, and lethargy during the first few days of illness.  Some dogs have more serious disease and pneumonia that requires hospital care. H3N2 CIV can cause respiratory infections in cats too. The cats start sneezing and have nasal discharge but usually do not cough.

How do dogs get H3N2 CIV infection?  

H3N2 CIV is spread by direct contact with a sick dog and by contact with an environment or people that are contaminated with the virus. Coughing dogs produce invisible virus containing mists that travel more than 20 feet in the air, facilitating rapid spread of virus over distances. This type of virus transmission contributes to a rapid increase in coughing dogs in a kennel situation. The virus can survive in the environment (kennel surfaces, food/water bowls, collars/ leashes, toys, beds) or on people's clothing and hands for 12 to 24 hours before it dies. It is easily killed by handwashing with soap and water, normal laundering of clothing and bedding, and washing food/water bowls and toys with soap and water

What dogs are at risk for H3N2 CIV?

Most dogs do not have immunity to H3N2 CIV. This means that dogs of any breed, age or health status will likely be infected if they are exposed to the virus.  Dogs at most risk for exposure are those with a social lifestyle and participate in group events or are housed in communal facilities, especially in communities where H3N2 CIV is circulating. This includes dogs in boarding kennels, day care centers, shelters, dog shows, veterinary clinics, pet stores, grooming parlors, etc. Dogs that mostly stay at home and walk around the neighborhood are at low risk.

What should I do if my dog has canine flu symptoms?

First of all, your dog may have a respiratory infection caused by other respiratory viruses and not H3N2 CIV. This can only be determined by a diagnostic test performed by your veterinarian. Here are the important steps to follow:  Call your veterinarian. Do not go to the clinic without calling first. Your dog may have a very contagious infection that can easily spread to other dogs in the clinic.  Tell the veterinarian the following information:  Your dog's symptoms and when they started.    If your dog has been to a dog show, boarding facility, dog day care center, dog park, grooming parlor, or another event with other dogs within the past week.  If your dog was around coughing dogs in the past week.  The veterinarian will provide specific instructions on when and how to see your dog.  Talk with your veterinarian about performing a diagnostic test to determine if your dog has the flu virus or another virus. This is very important to the care of your dog. The test is performed on swabs of the nose and throat that are submitted to an outside laboratory.

What if my dog is diagnosed with H3N2 CIV?

Most dogs recover at home without any complications. The most important aspect of home care is to keep your dog isolated from all other dogs for 4 weeks. While dogs recover from illness in about 2 weeks, they can remain contagious to other dogs for up to 4 weeks. If you have other dogs or cats in the house, then all of them must be isolated in the home for 4 weeks. Your veterinarian will provide instructions on how to monitor the health of all the pets and when to call about concerns.   About 20% of dogs can progress to pneumonia. Dogs with pneumonia typically have decreased appetite, are very lethargic, and may have labored breathing. Call your veterinarian if you see these signs. These dogs likely need special hospital care for recovery. Fortunately, the mortality rate for H3N2 CIV is low.

What can I do to protect my dog against H3N2 CIV?

You should also remain aware of any information about confirmed documentation of H3N2 CIV in your community or communities where you take your dog. If this virus is present in the community, then be careful about exposing your dog to events or facilities with other dogs. Knowledge and common sense are your best defenses against canine influenza. The most important step is to vaccinate your dog against the canine influenza viruses. Just like human flu vaccines, the H3N2 CIV vaccine may not completely prevent infection but will make it less likely. Additionally, if a vaccinated dog does get infected, the disease is likely to be more mild and of shorter duration. The vaccine can also protect against pneumonia. Talk to your veterinarian about vaccination against H3N2 CIV and other canine influenza viruses.

Current in Clinic Promotions

  • 10% off kitten or puppy spays or neuters if performed before they are 6 months old, and we have administered their vaccinations.
  • 10% off the purchase of 12 doses of any combination of heartworm prevention or flea prevention. This is in addition to any manufacturer rebates available.

Manufacturer Rebates

  • Merial : Buy 6 months of Heartgard and 6 months of Nexgard get a $15 mail in rebate. Buy 12 months of Heartgard and 6 months of Nexgard get a $25 mail in rebate. Buy 12 months of Heartgard and 12 months of Nexgard get a $50 mail in rebate.  Buy 6 months of Nexgard and get 1 month FREE
  • Zoetis: Buy 6 months of Revolution for cats and get 2 months FREE or buy 9 months and get 3 months FREE.
  • Elanco: Mail in Rebate for TrifexisBuy a 6 month supply and get $10.00 back or buy 12 months and get $25.00 back. 

Dogs love Ora Vet Chews, and you will too!

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With Ora Vet Chews, we can now provide you with an effective and convenient way to stop your dog's bad breath before it starts.

Companion Therapy Laser

Laser Therapy Reduces Pain and Speeds Healing.  Cypress Animal Hospital is excited to offer our clients Companion Therapy Laser .  Laser therapy provides a non-invasive, pain-free, surgery-free, drug-free treatment which is used to treat a variety of conditions and can be performed in conjunction with existing treatment protocols. Relief and/or improvement is often noticed within hours depending on the condition and your pet's reponse. Whether your pet is rehabilitating from trauma or injury, healing from wounds, or simply aging, your comapnion can benefit from this innovative aproach to treating pain.


Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment or obtain additional information.


Click here for a Medical Animation of how laser therapy encourages healing on a cellular level. 

Dietary Counseling

The pet food industry has grown tremendously, and it can be very overwhelming to decide on which pet food is best for your pet.  We can definitely help you with this task by providing guidance regarding your pet's nutritional needs for each life stage, including dietary requirements for growth, weight maintenance, and performance.  If your pet has specific health problems, we will offer guidance with regard to those prescription diets that are best suited for your pet.

Flea Control Programs

We design personalized flea control programs based on the specific needs of your pet, the number of pets, and the particular environmental situations in which they reside.  We will review the best ways to control fleas in your house, yard, and pet.  If you are having a flea problem, call us today to set up a consultation to have a personalized flea control program designed just for your pet household.


Parasites Are Gross And Can Affect The Whole Family!

Visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) website  for more information about parasites that can affect your pets. State, regional and local information about parasites such as heartworm, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tick-borne diseases is available on this informational site.

Hills Pet Nutrition

For more than 70 years, Hill's Pet Nutrition has helped enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets by putting our passion for balanced pet nutrition into everything we do. Our team of over 150 dedicated veterinarians and pet nutritionists are involved in the development of all of our products to ensure the highest-quality pet food available. We manufacture every bag of our dry pet food in our own U.S. facilities with high quality natural ingredients from North America and Europe. These ingredients must meet our strict requirements for purity and nutrient content, which exceed industry standards. 

Each of us brings a unique talent to our collective work. Like you, we are pet owners. And we're driven by love and a common passion to help all pets live a happy and healthy life. 

Royal Canin Veterinary Diets

At Royal Canin, we live by the conviction that pets are not people; they are unique animals with unique nutritional needs that are distinctly different from our own. Through extensive research, we have identified these needs and created a complete line of premium Health Nutrition specifically formulated for cats and dogs ? large or small, young or old, purebred or mixed breed. Because we know that only by feeding the best quality nutrition can we truly help pets stay as healthy and beautiful as possible.

Pet Information

With over 1,000,000 visitors per month, PetPlace is the definitive web destination for PetCrazy people. We know that the number one priority of PetCrazy people is their pet's health and well being. More than 85 veterinarians, including many veterinary specialists, have written for PetPlace. With a library of over 10,000 veterinarian approved articles we offer the largest and most complete source of pet information available anywhere. We not only offer the most comprehensive resource for Pet Health and Wellness, but we also have over 4,000 heartwarming "Pet Stories" that will make you, laugh, make you cry and make you feel good inside. Are you PetCrazy? Then is for you! 


Pet Poison Help Line 800-213-6680

Pet Poison Helpline

Did your dog or cat just eat something poisonous? Call your veterinarian or   Pet Poison Helpline immediately. The sooner a dog poisoning or cat poisoning is diagnosed, the easierless expensive, and safer it is to treat your pet. Pet Poison Helpline is a 24 hour animal poison control service available for pet owners who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.


 In order to provide this critical service, please be advised that there is a $49 per incident fee, payable by credit card. This fee covers the initial consultation as well as all follow-up calls associated with the management of the case.

ALTERNATE PHONE NUMBER    1-855-764-7661

CareCredit Healthcare Credit Card

Whether it's a routine checkup or emergency surgery, you should not have to worry about how to get the best medical care for your pet. That is why we are pleased to accept the CareCredit healthcare credit card, North America's leading healthcare financing program. CareCredit lets you say "yes" to the best treatment for your pet immediately, and pay for it over time with monthly payments that fit easily into your budget.


Ready to apply? Apply on line for your CareCredit card today or stop by our office to fill out an application.


Health Certificate Information

Florida law requires that any pet for sale in Florida or any pet traveling outside the state needs to have a health certificate, or (OCVI) Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.

 The veterinarians at Cypress Animal Hospital have been accredited by the USDA after completion of the required training course and are licensed in the state of Florida to complete these official documents. Please be advised that health certificates expire after 30 days from the date they are issued. Requirements for travel are slightly different than requirements for sale of pets.

For pets traveling outside the state of Florida
Pet Regulations are different from State to State and from Country to Country, Cypress Animal Hospital will make sure you are on your way without hassles

Please call our office to schedule an exam / consultation and alert the staff that this is to obtain a health certificate (OCVI) for travel. If your pet has been vaccinated at another veterinary hospital or rabies clinic, please bring proof of this with you. If no proof of vaccination exists, it is required to update the vaccines at the time of exam before the health certificate (OCVI) can be completed. *Note- it is very important that you contact the airlines or state/ country that you are traveling to for any other specific forms or requirements that they have in order to allow your pet to travel. Please do this prior to scheduling your appointment so that our staff can ensure that we are able to meet the requirements for your travel destination.


The process for traveling with a pet internationally can be very long and confusing. We recommend that you not only contact the appropriate offices in the country you are traveling to, but also The USDA/APHIS Veterinary Services Area office in Gainesville, at 352-313-3060; or the USDA APHIS Miami Import/Export Center, 305-526-2926. For more information from the USDA please visit:


You will need to be sure that all required vaccinations, diagnostics, and other requirements for travel are done within the appropriate time line for your destination. Since these requirements vary significantly for each country, our office cannot be responsible to provide you all the details you will need for travel, but we will help you in any way that we can to direct you to the information you need.


For puppies/ kittens that are for sale within the state of Florida

Health Certificates are required before you can sell pets in the State of Florida

For puppies / kittens that are for sale within the state of Florida- please call our office to schedule an exam / consultation and alert the staff that this is to obtain a health certificate (OCVI) for ?sale? of an animal within the state of Florida. If a pet is being sold to someone that lives outside the state of Florida, only the health certificate (OCVI) for travel is needed (see above). If you have a litter of animals, it is required that each individual animal have their own health certificate (OCVI) that will go with them to the purchaser. It is required by law that the veterinarian retains 1 copy of the form for 1 year, the seller will also get a copy, and the original should be given to the purchaser at the time of sale.

In order to complete the health certificate (OCVI), the following requirements must be met per Florida law:
1.    All pets must be at least 8 weeks old at the time of sale
2.    The pet must show no signs of contagious or infectious disease on physical exam
3.    The pet must show no signs of parasites including intestinal worms and ear mites, but excluding fleas and ticks. *This means that all pets must have a negative fecal test before the health certificate (OCVI) can be completed?if possible, please bring in a stool sample from each pet prior to your exam to have checked. Even if the result is negative, the pet must be dewormed at the time of the exam.

4.    The pet must have been dewormed, vaccinated, and had other required blood tests performed by an accredited veterinarian no more than 21 days prior to sale if the pet is less than 4 months old, and not more than 1 year before the sale if it is more than 4 months old.
5.    Any cat for sale must be tested for FeLV (feline leukemia) and any dog for sale over 6 months of age must have a heartworm test.
6.    Required vaccinations for cats are FVRCP and Rabies (if older than 3 months). The FVRCP vaccine includes: feline distemper (panleukopenia), feline viral rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus.
7.    Required vaccines for dogs are DAPP, *Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Rabies (if older than 3 months). The DAPP vaccine includes canine distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and adenovirus 2 (infectious hepatitis).


*Note, exceptions can be made to administration of leptospirosis vaccine if the pet has a previous history of vaccine reaction or it is determined by a veterinarian that administration of this vaccine is not in the best medical interest of the pet.
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