Booster Time: Influenza Vaccine

Summer is fast approaching and it will be time to booster the Bivalent Influenza vaccine (protecting against the H3N2 and H3N8 strains) that your dog received last year at the walk-in vaccine clinics held at Animal Hospital of North Asheville.  Many dogs vaccinated at the walk-in clinic will be out of sync with their annual physical exam and the remaining vaccines. We are recommending that if your dog is due for their annual physical exam in the next couple of months (before the influenza vaccine is due), please schedule as normal and we will update the influenza at that appointment. If your dog does not have an annual physical exam due in the next couple of months and the influenza vaccine is due, please schedule an appointment with our technicians to update this vaccine. If your dog received the bivalent influenza vaccine series in the past, a booster is not needed as it is a yearly vaccine after the initial series of two injections. The cost of updating the influenza vaccine at a technician visit will only be the cost of the annual vaccine. If your dog has a history of vaccine reactions, we may have to schedule an appointment with their veterinarian to administer the appropriate medications before the vaccine is given.

Do I still need to vaccinate my dog?

There is always a concern that the highly contagious canine influenza could come to the Asheville area because we are a very popular travel destination and a dog-friendly town. There continues to be sporadic outbreaks of the influenza throughout the USA. There is no “flu season” for dogs so we cannot predict when and where there will be an outbreak.

While any dog can contract canine influenza, the dogs at highest risk of exposure are those who go to boarding facilities, daycare centers, groomers, dog shows, dog parks, or other areas where dogs congregate. The virus can be spread without direct contact, through the air or on surfaces.  Those at highest risk for serious complications related to influenza are puppies and older dogs, especially those with other health problems; however, any dog may have serious complications develop so we encourage vaccination for all dogs. While no vaccine is 100% effective, this vaccine greatly reduces the risk of contracting the disease and reduces the duration and severity of infection, should it occur. 

Do not hesitate to call us at 253-3393 if you have questions, concerns or to schedule your dog's annual Influenza vaccine.

The below links will supply more information on the canine influenza:

As of February 22nd, there have been more than 490 positive cases of Dog Flu in California and Nevada. Recent confirmed cases have also been found in Idaho and Oregon. (source IDEXX February 2018 data)