Canine Flu Vaccine: Does It Work?

Dog with canine flu

Dry cough, sneezing, runny eyes … is it just the sniffles or does your dog have the flu? And if it’s the flu, could it have been prevented with the canine flu vaccine? Vaccine manufacturers use scare tactics to make you think the canine flu is worse than it is and more widespread … but that’s all they are, scare tactics. Remember, those vaccine manufacturers want your money, so what’s the best way to get it? Convince you your dog can’t go without it … Here’s what you should know about the canine flu and the canine flu vaccine.

What Is Canine Flu And What Are The Symptoms?

The first US strain of canine influenza virus (CIV), H3N8, was identified in racing greyhounds in Florida in January 2004. In 2015, a second strain, H3N2, was identified in Chicago. Since that time, cases have been reported across the States and a few, more recently, in Canada. Symptoms of canine flu:

  • Sneezing
  • Dry coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Watery eyes, runny nose
  • Fever (this is one of the things that makes it different from kennel cough)

So What’s Your Dog’s Risk For Canine Flu?

The media, many conventional vets and especially those vaccine manufacturers would love for us to believe that the canine flu is a major epidemic, that our dogs are seriously at risk and that every dog should get the canine flu vaccine. That’s just not the case! The canine flu is not widespread. In fact, most dogs never come in contact with the virus. While the number of dogs exposed to the virus who’ll get canine flu is around 80%, the mortality rate is very low. And those dogs that do become critically ill from it are typically those who have other health issues to begin with.

Wait, there’s more. According to the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, the first strain of canine influenza virus (H3N8) isn’t common among household pets in the US, with studies showing the level of the virus in the population at less than 5%. In some areas, exposure rates have been low even in pets who participate in high risk environments such as training or agility events. Still, maybe it’s just the second strain, H3N2, that’s the problem?

Let’s look at some numbers to put it into perspective.

0.0027044%. Those sound like some pretty good odds to me. So, on the off-chance your dog does get the flu, what can you do?

How To Treat The Canine Flu If Your Dog Gets It

Just as with humans, the treatment for a dog with the flu is largely supportive. Because it’s a viral infection and not bacterial, antibiotics won’t help. Here are some of the best things you can do to nurse him back to health:

  1. Keep a close eye on him to make sure he’s eating and drinking. Fluids are important to avoid dehydration.
  2. Check his diet. A fresh, raw diet packed with vitamins and nutrients will help your dog fight back against the flu. Think of it sort of like vitamin C and chicken noodle soup for humans.
  3. Add some immune-boosting supplements like turmeric, echinacea, goldenseal, oregano and garlic to his food:
    • Turmeric: Give about ¼ tsp per 10 lbs of body weight per day. Turmeric is better absorbed when it’s mixed with a little coconut oil and black pepper.
    • Echinacea: Don’t give echinacea all the time, but if you think your dog’s been exposed to the flu, give 12 to 25 drops of echinacea tincture three times a day for a few days.
    • Goldenseal: Give 5 to 10 drops of tincture per 20 lbs of your dog’s weight, 2 to 3 times per day. Goldenseal tastes very bitter so you may want to dilute it and add it to food to disguise it!
    • Oil of Oregano: NEVER give this undiluted to your dog – it’s extremely strong. Add 1 to 2 drops to 1 tsp of coconut or olive oil and add once daily to food.
    • Garlic: buy fresh, organic garlic, peel and chop and give 1/3 tsp per 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight per day.
  4. Give him lots of rest. Exertion causes the cough to become more intense, so limit it.
  5. Clean up. The virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours and on hands for 12 hours, so do a thorough cleaning using white vinegar, which is an effective bacteria and germ killer. Just spray it on and wipe or rinse it off.

RELATED: Want more natural cleaning recipes?

6. Give a homeopathic remedy.

  • Phosphorus 30C
    • Use the water method by dissolving three pellets of Phosphorus 30C into four ounces of purified water.
    • Using a syringe or eyedropper, administer 1cc of this remedy into his mouth three times within 12 hours: at bed, in the morning and at bed, then stop.
    • Note any improvement or changes in symptoms over the next day.
    • If your dog improves, stop dosing.
    • If he stops improving, or relapses, administer a single dose and watch for another six to 12 hours or more.
    • As long as there’s improvement, less coughing and less intensity, there’s no need to re-dose.
  • Nux vomica 30C
    • If you’ve dosed with Phosphorus and there are no changes, or your dog stops responding to Phosphorus, then switch to Nux vomica Give it as you did the Phosphorus.

Most healthy dogs get over the flu easily within two to three weeks. Since the symptoms are generally mild, your best bet is usually to let nature run its course. This will also help your dog build up a natural immunity to this and future strains. Remember to keep your dog away from other dogs if possible to help prevent the virus from spreading. So, it’s highly unlikely that your dog will get the canine flu, and you know that if he does get it, the symptoms will probably be mild and treated well with supportive at-home care … … but just in case you’re still a bit nervous and want to do all you can to prevent it by giving him the canine flu vaccine, there are a few more things you need to know.

What You Need To Know About The Canine Flu Vaccine

I’m going to tell you something really important about the canine flu vaccine right now. Something I sincerely hope will make you rethink your decision to give it to your dog (if you were in fact considering it). The canine flu vaccine is a killed vaccine. The worst vaccine you can give your dog, rabies, is also a killed vaccine. Leptospirosis and Lyme are also killed vaccines.

There are countless studies showing the adverse reactions caused by these vaccines, everything from allergic reactions to death. And those are just the reported ones. Remember, if it didn’t happen immediately after an injection, it isn’t considered a vaccine issue by vets. That’s very convenient for vaccine manufacturers, isn’t it?

A killed vaccine contains a killed form of the virus. Manufacturers do this because they don’t want the live virus to spread. Supporters of killed vaccines say they’re safer because the virus isn’t live. What these supporters don’t talk about is the fact that this also makes it hard for these vaccines to trigger an immune response. So, to make them more effective and longer lasting, manufacturers have to add adjuvants to them. Adjuvants are added chemicals. And they’re dangerous for your dog. Here are some of the most common ones and why they’re so harmful:

  • Aluminum is the most commonly used adjuvant in vaccines and it’s a neurotoxin. That means it messes with your dog’s brain and nervous system. It can cause inflammation in the brain, as well as serious conditions such as dementia and seizures. It’s also a known carcinogen.
  • Formaldehyde. Yes, one of the chemicals used to preserve dead bodies is another common vaccine ingredient. It’s another known carcinogen.
  • Thimerosal is a mercury-based additive that’s meant to preserve a vaccine. It has been proven to cause tissue cell death and neurological disorders. It’s also especially toxic to your dog when it’s combined with aluminum (which, you now know, is the most commonly used additive).
  • Phenol is another preservative commonly used in vaccines. It’s a highly poisonous, corrosive substance that comes from coal tar.
  • Animal tissue. Most disease micro-organisms are cultured on animal tissue, and when manufacturers make a vaccine, it becomes impossible to divide the virus from the animal tissue. Unlike animal tissue that your dog eats and can digest, this tissue is in the bloodstream, where the white blood cells have to fight it, making it harder for them to fight the other, more dangerous foreign substances.

The fact that the canine flu vaccine is a killed vaccine isn’t the only problem. It hasn’t even been proven to prevent an infection. So you’re risking your dog’s health with something that may not even prevent it! Another risk is that, as manufacturers modify these vaccines to fit different strains, the viruses become resistant, making it so that your dog needs to keep getting these toxic drugs because the old ones won’t work (even though they may not even work to begin with!).

RELATED: Is there actually anything to be afraid of with the canine flu?

So, what are the most important things you need to know about the canine flu and the canine flu vaccine?

  1. It isn’t widespread and your dog is unlikely to ever come in contact with it.
  2. If he does get it, the symptoms are usually mild and it is best treated with supportive care at home.
  3. The canine flu vaccine is not the answer. It’s a killed vaccine, is toxic, may not work, and is causing the flu to become resistant. Skip it.

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