We know your pets are special.
We think th
eir healthcare should be, too.

Our Doctors want to provide you with important information regarding the Canine Influenza Virus, how it can affect your dog, and what can be done to prevent it.

The Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) causes a respiratory infection in dogs that is often referred to as canine flu. CIV is a relatively new virus, so almost all dogs are susceptible to infection when they are newly exposed, as they have not built up natural immunity. Rhode Island recently became the 35th state to report instance of CIV, and the disease is still spreading rapidly.

Most often, the virus causes a mild upper respiratory tract infection. Typical symptoms include:

   - Lethargy

   - Decreased appetite

   - Low-grade fever

   - Nasal discharge

   - Dry, nonproductive cough (more common in mild disease) or soft, moist cough. Coughing may last for several weeks.

In some cases, the virus causes a severe infection. In addition to the above symptoms, these pets can experience:

   - A high fever (104-106?F)

   - An increased respiratory rate

   - Pneumonia

CIV is highly contagious, and can spread rapidly. It is easily spread through coughing, sneezing, and direct animal to animal contact, as well as contact with contaminated surfaces. It can spread quickly through boarding facilities, shelters, grooming facilities and dog parks.

The best way to protect against CIV is vaccination. Like the Bordetella vaccine, (a.k.a.Kennel Cough) it does not always completely prevent infection. It does, however, significantly decrease the severity of symptoms in infected dogs. It also reduces viral shedding, which minimizes the spread of the virus. It can be given safely to dogs as young as 6-weeks of age. Previously unvaccinated dogs will need and initial vaccine and then a booster 2 to 4 weeks later. Annual revaccination is needed to continue protection.

We are recommending vaccination against CIV for all dogs that spend time in dog parks, grooming facilities or boarding facilities.


To schedule an appointment for your dog to receive the CIV vaccine, please call (401)849-3400. If your pet has had an exam with one of our doctors within the last year, the vaccination can be given by one of our veterinary technicians with no office call fee.

If you have questions about the vaccine or Canine Influenza, please do not hesitate to call.


The Doctors at the Newport Animal Hospital