Canine Influenza: Pet Owners’ Guide






Canine influenza (CI, or dog flu) in the U.S. is caused by the canine influenza virus (CIV), an influenza A virus. It is highly contagious and easily spread from infected dogs to other dogs through direct contact, nasal secretions (through coughing and sneezing), contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. Dogs of any breed, age, sex or health status are at risk of infection when exposed to the virus.

Unlike seasonal flu in people, canine influenza can occur year round. So far, there is no evidence that canine influenza infects people. However, it does appear that at least some strains of the disease can infect cats.

Canine influenza symptoms and diagnosis

Greyhound resting on a blanket CIV infection resembles canine infectious tracheobronchitis (“kennel cough”). The illness may be mild or severe, and infected dogs develop a persistent cough and may develop a thick nasal discharge and fever. Other signs can include lethargy, eye discharge, reduced appetite, and low-grade fever. Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks. However, secondary bacterial infections can develop, and may cause more severe illness and pneumonia. Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health, or whose pet is showing signs of canine influenza, should contact their veterinarian.

CIV can be diagnosed early in the illness (less than 4 days) by testing a nasal or throat swab. The most accurate test for CIV infection is a blood test that requires a sample taken during the first week of illness, followed by a second sample 10-14 days later.

Transmission and prevention of canine influenza

Dogs are most contagious during the two- to four-day incubation period for the virus, when they are infected and shedding the virus in their nasal secretions but are not showing signs of illness. Almost all dogs exposed to CIV will become infected, and the majority (80%) of infected dogs develop flu-like illness. The mortality (death) rate is low (less than 10%).

The spread of CIV can be reduced by isolating ill dogs as well as those who are known to have been exposed to an infected dog and those showing signs of respiratory illness. Good hygiene and sanitation, including hand washing and thorough cleaning of shared items and kennels, also reduce the spread of CIV. Influenza viruses do not usually survive in the environment beyond 48 hours and are inactivated or killed by commonly used disinfectants.

There are vaccines against the H3N8 strain of canine influenza, which was first discovered in 2004 and until 2015 was the only strain of canine influenza found in the United States. However, a 2015 outbreak of canine influenza in Chicago was traced to the H3N2 strain – the first reporting of this strain outside of Asia – and it is not known whether the H3N8 vaccine provides any protection against this strain. Used against H3N8, the vaccines may not completely prevent infection, but appear to reduce the severity and duration of the illness, as well as the length of time when an infected dog may shed the virus in its respiratory secretions and the amount of virus shed – making them less contagious to other dogs.

The CIV vaccination is a “lifestyle” vaccination, recommended for dogs at risk of exposure due to their increased exposure to other dogs – such as boarding, attending social events with dogs present, and visiting dog parks.
Additional Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions (for pet owners)

Canine Influenza reference page (for veterinarians)

H3N2 Frequently Asked Questions (Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine)

The right dog with the right owners


Georgia K9 Obedience TrainingHere is a Sarge (GSD) update. The pics are from the park. The kids at the park love him and he loves to go down every slide he sees. He met over 500 people, cats, dogs, deer, squirrels and everything else in between. He is smartest dog in his puppy obedience class. The other dogs in my class did NOT do social training and it shows how important social training really is. I had my doubts then I met dogs that have serious issues and was thankful you and Gabby pounded that social training is the most important thing a puppy can do. He can sit, lay, stay (30 seconds or less LOL), fetch, drop it (most of the time) and the new trick today is \”place\”. That\’s where he goes to his bed in the kitchen and waits for a treat. The vet said he is an outstanding GSD and is very healthy. He won best dog of the day and got free heart worm meds from the vet. Potty training never happened because he NEVER had an accident. Please read that one again. I never even heard of this ever before but I listen to Sarge and gives me signals and his schedule helps. That in itself explains how special Sarge really is. Potty training was my biggest fear but it was never an issue.

GAK9 Obedience TrainingThere is more he does but I can\’t remember everything because I think he smarter then me sometimes. He always is with me and watches everything I do except when he plays with my other dogs then only a nuclear bomb will distract him. I\’m dropping him off for basic training with Gabby and Chase the beginning of November. They are the best dog trainers I ever met and I\’m doing private lessons once a week with Chase and Gabby until I drop him off. They think he will master obedience with no issues and he will be a great dog for me. Sarge is my best friend and I\’m very thankful for what you did for me. I needed Sarge more than words can describe. You found me the perfect dog and I love him very much. I\’m so lucky you did not take him to South Carolina because I can\’t see me with another GSD except Sarge.

That\’s it for now but I wanted to say Thank You for what you do. You have a gift putting the right dog with the right owners. It was worth every penny and worth waiting. Everyone always asks about him and I tell them call GA K9 before you even think about getting a dog.

Georgia K9 NTC Obedience TrainingSincerely,
Mike Russell and Sarge (GSD)

Another GAK9 Hound find

Mike Mason and Deja from San Bernardino County Sheriff's DeptAnother GAK9 Hound find…they are coming every day! Great work Mike Mason and Deja from San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept.

Critical Missing 14-01985 7400 Cherry Ave (US Bank) 1336 hrs
Officers responded to the US Bank regarding a reported critical missing. RP XXXX reported that her mother XXXX (DOB: 040444) had walked away from the RP’s parked vehicle. XXXX suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s. An extensive area search was conducted by officers to include the use of Red Hawk 1, Detective personnel and an SBSO Bloodhound team. The Bloodhound team (Dep. Mason and K-9 “Deja”) tracked the critical missing throughout the Village of Heritage. Det. Goltara along with patrol officers searched the area on foot with the K-9 Team. The track concentrated in the northeastern portion of the village.

Prior to establishing a Command Post, K-9 “Deja” tracked the critical missing further east in the village and subsequently across Cherry, to the walking path between commercial warehouses. The critical missing was unharmed and in apparent good health. Com Center responded to check XXXX as a precautionary measure. XXXX was reunited with her daughter and removed from MUPS. Great job by everyone involved!
Team 1, Det’s, Red Hawk 1, SBSO K-9

Related Articles….


Bloodhound Deja helps deputies
Rancho’s New Bloodhound K9 Unit

K9 Diet and Nutrition


What are you feeding your dog?

You are what you eat.  This is true regardless of species; human or dog.  Feeding your K9 poor quality dog foods can be directly related to:

1. Gastrointestinal problems

2. Hot spots and other skin problems

3. Ear infections such as chronic yeast


Human Grade Vs. Feed Grade

Basic Guidelines

  • Human grade ingredients are those that meet standards for human consumption and undergo stringent testing protocol to ensure quality and the absence of anything not fit for human consumption.
  • Feed grade ingredients are those deemed not fit for human consumption.  They include expired, moldy, and defective products.


Reading the Dog Food Labels

1. Dog food manufacturers are required to list all of the ingredients in their foods.  Each ingredient must be listed in order from highest to lowest by weight.

2. Some commercial manufacturers bypass the above standard to cover up less desirable elements.  An example would be when a reader  groups all of the wheat components together and they become substantially more than the meat product, such as lamb. Now the wheat becomes the primary ingredient.

3. Good protein sources are:

  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Venison
  • Duck
  • Lamb

1. Bad sources of protein are:

  • Unspecified by-products
  • Unspecified meat and bone meal
  • Fish digest
  • Animal digest

Animal digest is a cooked down broth that might be from unspecified parts of unspecified animals.  These creatures can be collected from almost any source and there are no quality controls in place. Dead, dying, diseased, and disabled, (known as 4-D) protein sources that are banned in human food can legally used in dog food. Unspecified by-products often times are an element of a larger product; e.g.  waste elements such as hair, feathers, feet, claws, beaks, etc.   These byproducts are not part of a healthy diet. **Meat byproducts such as the heart and liver are perfectly acceptable byproducts Dry blood meal is an inexpensive source of poor quality protein in some foods and it is completely indigestible.

Preservatives and Ingredients

For the most part, pet foods are overcooked and their nutritional value is often compromised.  Things have to be added back in to the mix to make it more palatable.  These ingredients are fall under the GRAS guidelines, (Generally Recognized as Safe).  This does not necessarily mean they are good for your dog.

1. Good Preservatives

  • Tocopherols (Vitamin C and E)
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate

1. Bad Preservatives and ingredients

  • BHT- Used to retard spoilage.  Some research has linked BHT to immune deficiency syndrome, spleen, stomach, and liver cancer, chronic diarrhea, liver and kidney damage.
  • Ethoxyquin- A known carcinogen that some studies have shown creates numerous other major health issues.
  • Artificial coloring
  • BHA- Some studies have shown this to be harmful to kidneys.
  • Corn syrup- This is pure sugar and can create picky eaters.
  • Mono sodium glutamate (MSG)- Used to disguise inferior food quality
  • Propyl Gallate- Spoilage retardant
  • Sodium nitrate- A possible carcinogenic preservative for red coloring
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate- A caustic detergent
  • Parabens


Good Carbs

1. Whole grains
2. Oats
3. Barley
4. Rye
5. Quinoa

Bad Carbs

1. Corn gluten meal

Good fruits and vegetables for your K9

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Papayas

Georgia K9 National Training Center is committed to K9 health.  We believe that there are three levels to proper health and they are all interconnected:

1. Physical
2. Environmental
3. Psychological

The means to this end starts with a good diet.  Without a properly functioning body working at peak capacity, our dogs can never truly reach their full potential.  We recommend to all of our clients to choose a body healthy diet for your K9. Yes, good dog food costs more than the average grocery store variety, but large vet bills due to food related problems or illness generally cost lots more. On the same note, quality foods are generally thoroughly digested, translating to less waste and feeding less with each meal.  There are quite a few excellent dog food products available at most pet stores and at your local Animal Clinic.  Here at Georgia K9, we use and stock two of them.   It is important to understand that the two foods we use are not the “be all, end all” of the dog food world.  They are simply foods that fit our K9‘s lifestyles.  We recommend that our clients always seek out professional veterinarian advice for the specific needs of their own dogs. As the majority of our personal dogs are working K9’s with incredibly active lifestyles, we have found the following foods to work best for them:

  • Orijen and Acana Diets
  • Canine Caviar (Grain Free)
  • NutriSource Grain Free diets
  • Pure Vita Grain Free Diets
  • Biologically Appropriate raw diets

We stock Orijen , Acana and Honest Kitchen in 30 LB bags for our customers. However, for those out of the area, repeat purchases might be best through one of our affiliate pet professionals in their particular neighborhoods. Please ask for a referral.

For those of you who prefer raw diets, we stock:

  • Blue Ridge Beef Raw Foods
  • Honest Kitchen
  • Nupro

We are also proud to feature Omega QD, the absolute best Omega fish oil supplement on the market.  Ask a Georgia K9 Trainer for a custom designed diet for your dog


Deputy Ryan Girard and his K9 Bloodhound “Dare,”

Tao of Trailing

Tao of Trailing

Ok y’all…so it goes again with two of our dogs…and really folks, this is what sets the working handlers from the fantasy:  Dares Bags another one 4 for 4 and they just went through there handers course 3 months ago!

I hate to steal the thunder from Dare’s handler, Ryan Girard from San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department but Dare was my own personal K9 that I decided to sell to a department that really needed it and a handler who I really felt deserved her. Well, it was a match made in heaven because these two are rocking Cali right now! Congrats and I cannot say how proud I am of this team. Thanks again to Sandy Stuart and Kent Stuart who know the meaning of working dogs.

Date: January 2, 2014 / 1934 hours
Crime: PC 211 – Strong Armed Robbery
Location: 9600 Block of Baseline Road, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Suspect: Victor Huerta, 18 years of age, transient

Victor Huerta walked into the Rite Aid and selected merchandise. A store employee watched Huerta conceal the merchandise in his waistband. The employee confronted Huerta regarding the merchandise. Huerta told the employee he was armed with a handgun. The employee backed away at which time Huerta charged the employee and struck him. The two began to struggle and the merchandise fell from Huerta’s pants. Huerta fled the scene of the crime. During the struggle, a hat Huerta was wearing fell to the ground and was left behind.

Deputy Ryan Girard and his K9 Bloodhound partner “Dare,” responded to the scene. Using the hat as a scent article, Girard used Dare to track the scent. They tracked the scent east from the store to a nearby business complex. The scent continued into an apartment complex near the business complex. Dare successfully tracked Huerta to the apartment complex where he was located and taken into custody. Because force was used by Huerta during the theft he was booked into West Valley Detention Center for strong armed robbery.

Proximity Alerts Learn and Live

K9 Cop Magazine Featured Kennel

Georgia K9 National Training Center is a very diverse training company with locations in Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. Initially beginning as a trailing and tracking trainer for Law Enforcement, GAK9 has grown to also provide multi-purpose K9-9s for police, military, Search and Rescue and people with disabilities.

K9 Cop Magazine Featured Kennel

Arm Robbery Bloodhound Apprehension & Burglary

Two good pinches in one week with two of our dogs that just completed training at our Edisto Island Facility. This training is real and gets real results. Great job to San Bernardino Deputies Mike Mason and K9 Deja and Ryan Girard and K9 Dare.  Hounds by Boulder Creek Bloodhounds, Kent and Sandy Stuart.

Deputy Ryan Girard and K9 Dare

Deputy Ryan Girard and K9 Dare

Thursday, November 21, 2013
strong Arm Robbery/Bloodhound Apprehension by Dare handled By Deputy Ryan Girard
11200 Block of Baseline Road, Rancho
Arrested Suspect: Smith, Darius, 20 year old male; resident of Rancho Cucamonga

On the above date and time a man, who was later identified as Darius Smith, went into a convenience store and demanded the clerk refund his money on an item he purchased earlier. The clerk declined and explained store policy prevented her from allowing the refund. This angered Smith and he stole two other items as he walked out of the business. The clerk followed him and tried to use her cell phone to take a photo of Smith’s car’s license plate. When Smith saw her do this, he charged her and struck her arm causing her phone to come out of her hand. A Good Samaritan saw what was happening and he yelled at Smith which stopped the attack. Smith ran away, leaving the stolen items behind. Deputy Ryan Girard and his bloodhound partner, Dare, came to the scene to help locate Smith. Dare gathered Smith’s scent from the stolen items and quickly went to work, trailing the scent from the store, across Milliken Avenue, through another store parking lot, then into a residential area. A short distance into the neighborhood, Dare indicated the subject was nearby. Deputies converged and gave verbal commands. Smith was hiding in some nearby shrubbery and surrendered without further incident. Dare’s ability to discriminate human scent and trail the scent over pavement, asphalt and landscaped areas proved to save many man hours of searching and resulted in the apprehension of a suspected violent thief. Smith was booked at the West Valley Detention Center.


Date/Time: 11/19/13 at 2:00 am

Incident: Burglary


Deputy Mike Mason and K9 Deja

Location: 11400 block of 4th Street, Rancho Cucamonga

Suspect(s): Castillo, Geovanny, 30-year old resident of Rialto

Victim(s): Avis Rental Cars

SummaryOn Tuesday, November 19th, deputies from the Major Enforcement Team of the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department were conducting surveillance in and around the area of 4th Street in the City of Rancho Cucamonga, due to an increase in reports of stolen third seat thefts occuring in that area. Deputies Justin Long and Narcie Sousa watched as a man, later identified as the suspect, Geovanny Castillo, brake into a 2013 GMC Yukon and remove the 3rd row seats.

As the deputies approached Castillo, he ran and hid from them. Deputy Mike Mason and his bloodhound partner, Deja, were requested and responded to the location. Deja was presented with articles containing the suspect’s scent and within minutes led deputies to where Castillo was hiding.

Castillo was arrested without further incident.

Deputies Long and Sousa located additional stolen third row seats in Castillo’s car.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at

Refer: Deputy Justin Long

Station: Rancho Cucamonga

Phone No. 909-477-2800

Case No. 111313291

K2 K9 Solutions Narcotics Detection

Kelli Collins takes first place in the K2 K9 Solutions Narcotics Detection event with our Georgia K9 NTC K9 Havoc and also 3rd Place Explosives Detection with her Boeing K9-Ben. Thanks to our K2 hosts. This was a great event at a beautiful K9 training facility. Anyone would be lucky to have the opportunity to train at K2. Stay tuned for the K2 Iron Dog pics from the end of day competition!




German boys soccer time!

German boys soccer time!

German Boys Soccer Time

Rancho’s New Bloodhound K9 Unit

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Rancho Cucamonga introduced their new Bloodhound K9 Unit to the community on Thursday, October 17, 2013.  The unit, which includes two bloodhounds and two deputies, will assist law enforcement in locating missing children, adults, objects, and suspects who flee.  Bloodhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dogs that hunt by scent and we are proud to have them in our county.  Along with the efficiencies a dog can provide, the Bloodhound, in particular, is an adorable sight and they draw the attention and affection of most people.

Georgia K9 BloodhoundFollowing a year of research, Deputies Ryan Girard and Mike Mason brought forward a proposal to purchase and deploy 2-Bloodhounds trained in the task of trailing the scent of missing or outstanding persons.

Their proposal was welcomed by the Sheriff’s Department’s Command Staff and the City.  The decision to make the purchase and go forward was an easy one, and soon after hearing the idea, permission was granted and the City of Rancho Cucamonga funded the purchase.

After weeks of “boot camp” type training in South Carolina, we welcome home our beautiful bloodhounds, Dare and Deja.  The dogs are sisters, coming from the same litter 2-years ago.  The girls started their
training at 8-weeks of age and were so successful the trainer, Jeff Schettler, of Georgia K9’s used them as his demonstration dogs to showcase his training program.  Jeff calls the girls “Ferrari’s” of the trailing world.

In the event that a vulnerable person or suspect in a crime is missing, the work required by human peace officers is daunting and sometimes overwhelming.  People can be difficult to find in our very urban environment and can deplete resources very quickly.  A dog, on the other hand, has olfactory senses far beyond the senses of a human and can therefore locate a targeted scent very quickly. Dare and Deja can currently track any human scent over the course of several miles, even when the trail is several hours old
and over hard terrain such as cement and asphalt.   Dare and Deja will also be outfitted with video and GPS tracking devices.

Adel Sayegh, Owner and CEO of Universal Surveillance Systems in Rancho Cucamonga, researched state-of-the-art remote video and GPS tracking devices, purchased these items, designed and created a vest for the dog’s to wear which can hold the equipment in place.  The system will not only create a video image of
the entire tracking event, it will create and maintain a log of the GPS coordinates throughout the search.  If needed, the records can be used as evidence in court.  Mr. Sayegh donated his time and the equipment in an effort to give back to this community in which he lives and works.

Dare and Deja are true athletes who will live with Deputies Mason and Girard as part of their families.