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Dog Flu Vaccine May Be Worthless

By Dr. Andrew Jones


This comes from a recent news story in which veterinary researchers at Cornell have discovered that the current strain of the canine influenza virus has originated from Asia, meaning the current vaccine may not even be effective.

Here is the article:

Canine influenza outbreak caused by Asian virus, scientists say

Veterinary researchers at Cornell don’t know if current vaccine provides protection.


The canine influenza outbreak afflicting more than 1,000 dogs in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest is caused by a different strain of the virus than was earlier assumed, scientists at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin say in a Cornell media release.

Researchers at Cornell say their test results indicate that the outbreak is being caused by a virus closely related to Asian strains of influenza A H3N2, currently in wide circulation in southern Chinese and South Korean dog populations since being identified in 2006. There is no evidence that it can be transmitted to humans, they say.

The outbreak in the Midwest was previously thought to be a result of the H3N8 strain of virus, which was identified in the U.S. dog population in 2004 and has been circulating since, the release states. The H3N2 virus had not been previously detected in North America.

The outbreak in Chicago suggests a recent introduction of the H3N2 virus from Asia.

Testing of clinical samples from the outbreak conducted at the New York State Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell indicated that the virus was influenza A.

Further testing led researchers to believe a new strain was at fault. Subsequent testing, carried out with the assistance of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, identified the new subtype as H3N2. The National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, is sequencing two isolates from this outbreak to facilitate complete characterization of the viruses.

Both influenza strains can cause high fever, loss of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge and lethargy, researchers say. Symptoms may be more severe in cases caused by the H3N2 virus. Some infected dogs may not show symptoms at all.

H3N2 has caused infection and respiratory illness in cats, according to the Cornell release.

Researchers do not know yet if the current canine influenza vaccine will provide any protection from this new virus. It does protect against H3N8, they say, which is in circulation in some areas. Other preventive advice remains the same: In areas where the viruses are active, pet owners need to avoid places where dogs congregate, such as dog parks and grooming salons.

So do you get the vaccine?..

Unless you live in Chicago, in the areas where the outbreak is serious, and IF you have a dog that is at higher risk of secondary complications
( ie immunocompromised), I wouldn’t even consider it.

Especially in light of these findings..

That being said over 10000000 doses have been given, so a few veterinarians may disagree with me.

Surprise 🙂

Best Wishes,

Andrew Jones, DVM

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Topics: Dog Health, Pet health | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Dog Flu Vaccine May Be Worthless”

  1. Avatar Jason Says:
    May 18th, 2015 at 7:29 am

    I do worry about outbreaks of flu and other such illnesses with animals. Our dogs have only ever had the kennel cough (picked up whilst visiting the vets ironically!) so I’ve no idea how their bodies would respond to something like flu.

  2. Avatar Sue Seward Says:
    January 28th, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Our four year old Australian Shepherd Titan has been going to the A To Z Dog Ranch here locally for 3 years. They have over 3 acres where he runs and plays with other dogs and he’s boarded there when we are out of town. He loves the dog ranch but unfortunately we have had to give him all these vaccines to be able to go there. He actually contracted kennel cough AFTER receiving the Bordetella vaccine! Now they are telling us the Canine Flu Vaccine is mandatory for all dogs that are coming to the dog ranch. He has also been taking your Canine Supplements for about 3 years with his food, he eats all gluten, wheat and corn free since 12 weeks old and is very healthy. We have never taken a flu shot and eat very healthy, organic, gluten/wheat free, clean and we do all holistic medicine, we do not take any prescription medications. We are very concerned about giving Titan this flu vaccine. Unfortunately the consequence is he won’t be able to go play two days a week at the ranch that he loves so much but we could possibly be saving his life by not allowing this vaccine. What are your thoughts?


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM