Doggie flu...what to do?
Doggie Flu…what to do?
By now, most people with dogs are aware that the information we gave you this summer about the currently available Dog Flu vaccine, named CIV H3N8, was absolutely correct.
#1: It was (and still does) need to be administered well in advance of ANY exposure, in 2 separate doses, to be effective at all. Vaccinating upon admission to a boarding facility does no good at all.
#2: It didn’t (and still can’t) protect against flu that your pet has already acquired;
#3: It was and (and still is) a different vaccine than the variety of dog flu that was affecting dogs in the Midwest, called CIVH3N8, so has extremely limited ability to be of much utility at all;
#4: All major veterinary groups agree that NO vaccine should EVER be administered to your pet without a thorough assessment, by your veterinarian, of the risks and benefits of that vaccine first.
#5. Ideally, multiple vaccines should NEVER be administered all together.
Worst of all is this one:
It was (and absolutely still is) BAD MEDICINE, and exclusively profit-motivated advice, for any kennel or veterinary hospital to prey upon your fear of your pet catching a serious disease, and to insist that your pet needs ANY vaccine like this one, that was so poorly matched to the flu variety that was making the rounds during the summer.
But very soon, a NEW Dog Flu Vaccine, CIVH3N2, will be available in Illinois. Now, the reality checks to think about, before you rush in to get your pet vaccinated with THIS vaccine:
#1: Unlike the old and ineffective CIVH3N8 flu vaccine, it is specific for the flu that hit this last summer. Like ANY type of flu, the dog flu mutates frequently. We will not know for a while whether this new vaccine will be specific for the type of dog flu that hits next, and there is no way to predict this, either.
#2: Unlike the old and ineffective CIVH3N8 flu vaccine, it is provisionally licensed, and not yet available in Illinois, although it is expected to be available “soon”, say all veterinary suppliers.
#3: Like the old and ineffective CIVH3N8 flu vaccine, it will need to be administered well in advance of ANY exposure, in 2 separate doses, to be effective at all.
#4: Like the old and ineffective CIVH3N8 flu vaccine, it can’t protect against flu that your pet has already acquired;
#5: Like any vaccine, your pet STILL needs to be assessed by your veterinarian as to risk and need before you administer ANY vaccine.
As more data accumulates, we PROMISE to keep you updated about this new vaccine, and to tell you whether we think it will be something you should think about for YOUR pet.
Dr. Mitchell, Wally, and Bettina (Wally & Bettina say that they REFUSED the flu vaccine!)