Westfield Veterinary Care

17735 Sun Park Drive
Westfield, IN 46074



In the press:  Canine Influenza, is your dog in danger?

According to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, dog owners should not panic.  Normal, healthy dogs, if exposed, will likely become ill but will recover.  The risk of exposure is quite low for most dogs under average circumstances.  Currently, the greatest number of canine influenza cases have been reported in the Chicago area with some spill-over into Michigan.  Very old, very young and immuno-suppressed pets are at highest risk, should they be exposed.  Owners who travel frequently with their pets to infected regions of the country, particularly where canines gather (like dog shows, race tracks and kennel areas) should vaccinate their pets against canine influenza.  All pet owners should watch their animals closely for any signs of illness after a trip.

The virus is not known to have any human health affects and should NOT be confused with strains known to infect people.

Signs of canine influenza to look for:  

  • It starts with coughing (that can last up to 3 weeks), which is similar to "kennel cough" (or Bordetella).
  • In its milder form, this flu causes a low-grade fever along with coughing and a runny nose.
  • The disease is highly contagious and infected animals should be isolated. 
  • Sickened animals may develop a fever as high as 107° F.  Severe cases can result in pneumonia that may lead to death.  
  • Mortality is believed to be low, approximately 1-5%, but may reach as high as 10% in immuno-suppressed and very young or old dogs.  
  • A vaccine is available but is not effective if the animal is already infected.

The current outbreak in the Chicago area has been determined to be a new strain of Canine Influenza virus to North America.  It is not known yet whether the canine influenza vaccine will offer protection against this new strain.  Find out more about Canine Influenza at:

Although we believe the risk to pets in our area is currently low in most circumstances, we have the Canine Influenza vaccine on hand and are able to vaccinate.  This vaccine needs to be boosted 2-4 weeks after the initial vaccination.  We will continue monitoring this health issue and will update the website promptly as needed. 

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