We haven’t seen much lately regarding the dog flu (strain H2N3) but it is showing up in smaller pockets around the Midwest. There have been confirmed cases in Cincinnati. While we have not confirmed any cases in Dayton, the likelihood of this strain coming into our community is high. The dog flu mimics kennel cough and other contagious upper respiratory illnesses closely, so there is potential that mild cases have been seen in our area in disguise.
Unfortunately, the more we learn about this virus, the clearer it is that the current dog flu vaccine ( for strain H2N8) is not effective against the H2N3 strain. Our best defense against the canine flu at this time still appears to be limiting social exposure between dogs and especially isolating any dogs with respiratory symptoms. Every owner must weigh the risks vs the benefits of dog to dog social interaction when taking their dog to public areas where they ma be exposed, understanding that some risk may be unavoidable (the neighbors dog, grooming, kenneling, etc) and some may be very beneficial (doggie daycare, dog park, ect).
Cindy Boller DVM