Canine influenza, or dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory virus caused by Influenza A H3N8. This virus does not affect humans, but can be spread between dogs. Canine influenza is spread through the air, touching contaminated surfaces, or by humans moving between infected and uninfected dogs. Symptoms include cough, runny nose, and fever, and are often mistaken for Bordetella bronchiseptica, the bacterial cause of kennel cough.
A recent outbreak of canine influenza in Chicago, and its spread into Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Indiana, has caused concern for many dog owners. There is a vaccine available for the virus, and while it doesn’t prevent infection, vaccination decreases the severity of the symptoms and the duration of infection. Places of high risk for infection include dog parks, kennels, boarding facilities, animal shelters, animal hospitals, and veterinary clinics.
Facilities that are boarding or treating animals should establish protocols for disinfecting environmental surfaces and employee hand hygiene. EPA-registered disinfectants with claims against Influenza A are effective against canine influenza. Surfaces that require frequent disinfecting include cages, countertops, bowls, and other areas where multiple dogs are interacting. Because the virus can be spread between dogs through humans, employees should thoroughly wash hands between handling dogs and touching objects that dogs may come into contact with.
Multi-Clean offers four EPA-registered disinfectants with claims against Influenza A, two of which are formulated to fit veterinary care needs. For more information on these disinfectants, and other veterinary care products, visit our Vet Care Webpage.