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Canine Influenza Information for Veterinarians

Canine Influenza Information for Veterinarians

What is the time course of infection?
Specific infection studies have not been conducted with the new H3N2 Canine Influenza Virus strain circulating in the U.S., but based on other influenza viruses more generally, incubation period is expected to be 2-3 days, with clinical signs lasting 5-7 days and viral shedding extending to 21-24 days following the onset of clinical disease.

What general recommendations and information can I provide to clients?

  1. Vaccinate dogs when possible, despite unknown efficacy of current H3N8 commercial vaccines to prevent or diminish clinical disease with the new H3N2 virus. To the best of our knowledge, the original H3N8 virus has not disappeared, but is NOT circulating in Wisconsin.
  2. Maintain good general infection control principles when exposed to other dogs (e.g., limit direct dog-to-dog oronasal contact).
  3. Soap and water is very effective at inactivating virus.
  4. The virus will live in the environment for 24-48 hours in the majority of cases.
  5. Wash your hands and change your clothes if you work with or are exposed to sick dogs before handling your own pets at home. This also applies to veterinarians in practice.

What samples should be taken and how is testing conducted?

  1. The sample requested is a nasal swab with a non-cotton swab. Please use Dacron or synthetic swabs. Break the swab off into viral transport media.
  2. The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL) offers broadly targeted matrix rt-PCR testing for CIV for veterinarians and their clients.
    1. The cost is  $33 with a $10 accession fee.
    2. WVDL also offers a respiratory disease rRT-PCR panel “RESPPNLK9.” This tests costs $100.10 with $10 accession fee and includes Canine distemper virus, Canine herpes virus, Canine parainfluenza virus, Canine respiratory coronavirus, Canine adenovirus 2, Influenza A, and Bordetella. All supplies required can be acquired from the WVDL within 24 hours and shipping via UPS is recommended.
    3. Please contact the WVDL with questions at 608-262-5432 or

Tips for managing your patients:

  • Try to schedule dogs with compatible clinical signs at the end of the day to minimize exposure to your regular clinic in- and outpatients.
  • Have owners keep dogs outside the clinic until you are ready to see them.
  • Consider alternative paths in/out of the clinic, and generally keep dogs with clinical signs away from regular clinic in- and outpatients.


NOTE:  Please notify DATCP if you have a positive test from a diagnostic laboratory that is notWVDL.  The WVDL automatically notifies DATCP.


Order sample supplies:

Shipping information:


Additional Resources

American Veterinary Medical Association

Centers for Disease Control