Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary’s Perspective of Canine Influenza:
Canine influenza is a contagious respiratory infection transmitted directly from dog-to-dog through nasal secretions, coughing, and/or sneezing. The first strain of canine influenza was noted in Florida in 2004, and thus, influenza exposure became a concern for dogs who lived in or traveled to the southern United States. Many years passed before a second strain of canine influenza emerged in the United States. In 2015 a new strain of influenza emerged in Chicago. Interestingly, this new strain in Chicago was found to be related to a strain from Asia (not Florida!).
As the Chicago strain of canine influenza crept into Michigan from Chicago in 2015, Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary (MAS) elected to protect the dogs at MAS from a potential outbreak. Mackenzie’s is a home along the way and sanctuary for young dogs, old dogs, healthy dogs, and dogs with chronic problems such as cancer, kidney disease, allergies, etc. Due to the many health concerns of our population, close living quarters of the kennel environment, and potential long term housing of our sanctuary dogs, every dog at MAS receives an annual influenza vaccine.
Canine influenza is an elective vaccination in veterinary medicine; therefore, veterinarians choose which patients should be vaccinated based on the patients’ lifestyle and exposure risks. If you think your dog may be at risk of exposure to canine influenza, please consult with your dogs’ veterinarian to discuss your dog’s wellness needs.