Canine Influenza 2018

Media Contact: Ashley Rodriguez, (213) 482-9551 or

L.A. Animal Services Encourages Dog Owners to
Consult their Veterinarian about the Canine Influenza Virus

L.A. Animal Services strongly encourages pet owners to consult their dog’s veterinarian and ask if their pet should be vaccinated against the canine influenza virus H3N2. Canine influenza virus H3N2 (CIV H3N2) is a highly contagious upper respiratory viral disease spread among dogs, and can infect cats as well.

On March 12, 2018, L.A. County Veterinary Public Health was alerted by a veterinary hospital in the Southern CA area that a dog recently imported from South Korea tested positive for CIV H3N2 and is currently being quarantined. According to the VPH, “Three other dogs were in the same shipment and may have been exposed to CIV H3N2. One of the exposed dogs is under quarantine in Orange County, another in Long Beach, and the third in L.A. County.”

The majority of flu-infected dogs can exhibit nasal discharge, fever, sneezing, and a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days. CIV H3N2 is spread through coughing, barking, and sneezing, as well as through contaminated objects like kennel surfaces, water bowls, collars and leashes. The virus can remain alive and able to infect other animals on surfaces, clothing, and hands for several hours after initial contact.

If you think your pet has the dog flu, please keep it away from other animals and contact your veterinarian right away. Dogs that are at the highest risk of contracting the virus are at animal shelters, grooming salons, dog daycares, dog parks and other locations where the animals are in close contact with each other.

In May 2017, L.A. Animal Services began vaccinating all dogs entering City shelters against CIV H3N2 in an effort to protect the shelter dogs and the community.

The keys to preventing the spread of CIV H3N2 virus include:

  • Vaccinating against canine influenza, which requires two vaccinations, 2-4 weeks apart.
  • Washing your hands thoroughly after touching sick pets.
  • Frequently cleaning and disinfecting pet boarding facilities, grooming salons, and clinic areas.
  • Keeping flu infected bowls, toys, leashes, and other equipment away from healthy pets.
  • L.A. County Veterinary Public Health recommends that dogs that interact with other dogs should be vaccinated against canine influenza. For more information from L.A. County Veterinary Public Health, visit:

    For public health consultation: Call Veterinary Public Health and ask to speak with the Veterinarian-On-Duty (Mon – Fri 8 Am – 5 pm) at 213-989-7060 or email them at

    Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the United States with six shelters serving approximately 60,000 animals annually and responding to 20,000 emergency calls involving an animal or person in danger. LA Animal Services promotes and protects the health, safety and welfare of animals and people.

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