Dog Flu Vaccine: Do You Really Need a Shot for the H3N8 Canine Virus?

Written by Jan on July 1, 2009 – 9:41 am

Pug The flu is coming! The flu is coming!  Be afraid …  be very afraid.

This time the flu is headed for our beloved dogs. It’s the flu that killed racing greyhounds in Florida, beginning in 2003.

But don’t worry, the pharmaceutical industry has a lovely new vaccine with a shiny new needle.  Before long, expect a scary notice with the urgent message to rush in for a magic shot before your dog gets the new virus.  Why not get a bunch more shots while you’re at it? But before you go flying in, credit card in hand, I hope you’ll read this article, and others, and ask yourself some important questions.

Questions like ….

  • Is your dog really at risk?
  • Is the vaccine effective?
  • Is it safe?
  • What adverse reactions are expected short-term? And long-term (in a drug rushed to market with conditional approval)?
  • Did the virus mutate to Canine Influenza in racing greyhounds from racing horses vaccinated against Equine Influenza?  Are there unintended consequences for humans down the line from the canine influenza shot?

When I first read the New York Times article, New Flu Vaccine Approved — For Dogs, I thought: here we go again. Bird flu … swine flu … now dog flu?

My fears were allayed somewhat when author Donald McNeil, Jr.,began: “There is a new flu virus going around. It initially looked quite lethal, and caused panic. Now it is clear that it has killed relatively few victims — and many of those have underlying conditions.” But then he added: “It is particularly dangerous to be the possessor of a pushed-in nose — that is, to be a Pekingese, a pug or a Shi-Tzu.”  I relaxed again with: “It has now been found in 30 states, but almost exclusively in settings where dogs live closely together: shelters, pet stores, kennels and dog schools.”

I repeat: “It has now been found in 30 states, but almost exclusively in settings where dogs live closely together: shelters, pet stores, kennels and dog schools.”

I looked over the comments following the on-line article and realized that a lot of pet parents are nevertheless panicking. I asked a few of my vaccination activist vet friends to offer some advice. Here’s what they wrote.

***From Dr. Patricia Jordan, DVM, CVA, CTCVH & Herbology, Author of the upcoming book on vaccination: Mark of the Beast

I am a veterinarian, I have 25 years of experience and I am HORRIFIED that this new vaccine was ever manufactured and is now being promoted for use. Our leading premier veterinary immunologist and vaccine researcher, Dr. Ron Schultz, has already informed us that the only reason there even was a canine flu……….is the use and overuse of the vaccine in horses for the horse flu!

Indeed the very use of modified live vaccines squirted up the nose of the horses that then shared the locality of the race track with dogs, racing greyhounds….that increases the chance of species jumping and this is EXACTLY why we have this pathogen. Vaccines keep the viral proteins of the disease in play and are the very reason we rise mutations of more severe strains and why we eventually have species jumping of the viruses from our companion animals then to man!

Emory University in Georgia has a paper out about the overuse of veterinary vaccines leading to emerging Public Health issues in man. How do you think Bordatella [Kennel Cough vaccine] came to infect now both cats and humans in the households with the dogs! With the impending pandemic that will be made by the mass vaccination using swine flu vaccines…..we certainly DO NOT NEED our dogs adding to the pandemic with theirviral flu protein sequences imposed upon them with the latest shot to pop for profits!

The country of Indonesia has the most virulent, pathogenic, lethal strains of Bird Flu and the most humans deaths because of the VERY FACT they have a mass inoculation program. Three experts in their country have critized their governments mass inoculation program and the mathematical model proves all three of these scientists work. One is a Tropical Disease Virologist, a second an Avian Disease Specialist and the third a Veterinary Pathobiologist, they all have weighed in: MASS INOCULATIONS ARE THE VERY CAUSE OF RISE OF MUTANT STRAINS AND PANDEMICS ARE THE ENDGAME.

I would never ever, recommend this and especially to dogs [flat-faced dogs likes pugs and bulldogs] who can hardly breath to begin with. Boarding facilities and vaccinologists will be the reason this vaccine will make more disease and deaths occur. Do not get the vaccine.

In continued correspondence Dr. Jordan added:

Canine Flu came from the use and overuse of modified flu vaccine in the equine. The horses had the vaccine sprayed up their noses and then the modified live virus mutated to be able to attack and infect dogs. The first were the racing greyhounds on the very tracks that the equine flu came from.

You can expect that the virus will once again mutate and jump to infect man and probably the cat, anyone that shares the environ with the dogs. Some dogs … because a vaccine has nothing to do with the ability of the individual to deal with a virus … may not have any signs until a stressor or another trigger comes along … bad food, travel, crowding, the physical exertion of racing, etc.

People getting flu vaccines is most likely where the flu mutated from us to the horses……and we can expect much more of that with all of these pop a shot for profit coming down the pike. I’m particularly worried about groomers and kennel owners believing they need to add this shot to their requirements for service. Then you will see stressed out multiply-housed animals really rise a mutation.

It’s the very use of vaccines is what keeps the disease in play. Vaccination does not mean immunization; it does not mean immunity. Every vaccination is experimentation under the guise of providing health care delivery.

You asked about side effects. I fear vaccinating will contribute to the making of a pandemic virus, will contribute to the circulation of viral proteins, will contribute to the toxic load of pets and people, and will help rise the strains of mutations.

*** Stephen R. Blake, DVM, Author of The Pet Whisperer

I am so sorry to hear our friends the animals are going to be exploited once again. I have seen this scare tactic used for the past 40 years to get people to inject their animals with dangerous vaccines that have no safety studies to back them up. This is also the case with human vaccines.

Each individual must ask themselves, “Is the risk from the natural infection greater or less than the potential danger of the vaccine?”

“The witch doctor succeeds for the same reasons all the rest of us doctors succeed. For each patient carries his own doctor inside himself. They come to us not knowing this truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.” — Albert Schweitzer

Dr. Schweitzer makes it very clear about what healing is. Injecting chemicals into an animal is not healing. It does not awaken the doctor who resides within each patient. It disrupts the immune system of the animal and can result in everything from death to chronic disease states, such as autoimmune disease, organ failure, allergies, etc.

For the past 25 years I have stressed the following issue about vaccinations. Is the theory of vaccination practical? When we know there are an infinite number of strains of virus and bacteria, does it make any sense to try to prevent disease by injecting an infinite number of viruses and bacteria into the blood stream’s of animals and people? My answer to this question is NO. I feel the answer to preventing disease is a healthy immune system. You can read my page on how to stay healthy and learn what you can do to help your animals and yourselves stay healthy.

The reason animals get ill is due to their susceptibility to infection. We should be putting our resources into nutrition, no chemicals, IE flea and tick, pesticides, herbicides, clean water, stop over vaccination practices. Injecting more chemicals into animals is not prevention. A strong healthy immune system is health.

Learn about raising your pet on raw or natural diets, bovine colostrum, essential oils,  clean water, chemical free living and few or no vaccinations. You will do no harm with these products and will help provide the doctor within with the building blocks to keep them healthy.

On May 27, 2009, the USDA (Department of Agriculture) granted a conditional license to this first vaccine against Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), produced by drug giant Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.  The drug company writes in a recent press release available on their website: ” It may be given to dogs six weeks of age or older and can be given annually as a component of existing respiratory disease vaccine protocols to ensure more comprehensive protection.” (Respiratory vaccines, according to top experts I’ve interviewed, have dubious effectiveness and known propensity to adverse reactions. See my Vaccinating Dogs page for more information; scroll down to the section on Bordetella/Kennel Cough.) The CIV vaccine will be up for regular licensing in one year.

During the conditional period, data will be gathered on “product purity, product safety under normal conditions of use in field safety trials and demonstration that the product has a reasonable expectation of efficacy.”

So, I’ve given you something to think about other than fear of dog flu. I’m a consumer advocate, not a vet, but I will not be purchasing a flu vaccine for my dogs. I will continue to put my money in building health with great food and no harmful drugs.

Dr. Cynda Crawford, one of the flu’s discovers, calls the number of dogs who have died of this disease “a drop in the bucket” of the nations 70 million dogs.  It is my belief that the number of dogs adversely affected by reactions to vaccines, especially drugs rushed to market, would overflow that bucket many times over.

I hope you’ll think health, not fear, when the Powers That Be warn you to be scared and buy drugs.

Other articles that may interest you include: Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure, Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots and Titer Test: Don’t Vaccinate Your Dog Unnecessarily.  I’ve also just posted Rabies Vaccine Skin Reaction: Ischemic Dermatopathy, the story of how a champion agility dog had her career ended by a rabies vaccine reaction, and another on Changing Rabies Vaccination Laws.  These last two are on my other blog,

Until we meet again, please forward this article to friends. And leave us a comment or question.

Related article

Dog dies after flu vaccine

Dog Flu Shot: Thoughts from a Vet about H3N8


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Tags: C, canine flu, canine influenza, CIV, dog, dog flu, H3N8, new vaccine, pugs, ron schultz, should I get the shot?, side effects, Vaccination, vaccine, vaccine reactions, virus
Posted under Uncategorized, Vaccination | 74 Comments » Email This Post

74 Comments to “Dog Flu Vaccine: Do You Really Need a Shot for the H3N8 Canine Virus?”

  1. Jan Says:

    Hi Lyn. I hope all is going well with your dogs. I hate to tell you that you shouldn’t be comforted that it’s a “standard vaccine.” It’s a new vaccine making vets a lot of money. It has only been on the market for a little over a year. Is it safe? Certainly not for all dogs. Is it necessary? How many cases have been reported in your area? Was your dog really at risk? Does it work?

    I hope you’ll consider a pet sitter in the future. For multiple dogs, it’s often less expensive and you won’t have to give unnecessary vaccinations — which can be very expensive in the long run.

    Re your vet who is “a highly recommended vet that everyone uses”: why do they recommend him/her? Most people have no clue what makes a vet good. People still go to vets who killed their dog through incompetence (but had a nice personality), who vaccinate unnecessarily, who sell dangerous arthritis products, who don’t tell you the risks of drugs, who prescribe heartworm meds in areas with no heartworm. Did you check the vet’s license? Have there been complaints? Does he/she adhere to an archaic vaccination protocol? Did your vet administer any other drug with the flu shot?

    I hope you’ll read I can tell you love your dogs. I hope you’ll check to make sure your new vet is a good one, not just a popular or convenient one. I personally would not go to any vet who recommends the flu shot.

  2. Long day for Lil' Man CJ. Iv'e been worried all day - Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community Says:

    […] In my opinion, it is just another $$$$-Maker for the big boys and a way to exploit pet owners. Dog Flu: Does Your Dog Need the New Vaccine? | Truth4Dogs __________________ MaryKay AprilLove Wubs Moosie R.I.P. Bailey & […]

  3. Karen Weiner Says:

    Oh my God!! Exactly two years ago, I took my 12 year old Australian Cattle Dog to his vet for his annual checkup. He was PERFECTLY healthy in all respects. He NEVER was sick a day in his life, and 12 is NOT old for Cattle Dogs – they can live quit long. Like others who have commented here, I was pushed into giving him the influenza vaccine – required if I were to ever board at my vets’. I never did, but they persuaded me to give Sydney the vaccine anyway. Within a day or two after the second dose, Sydney became agitated, wouldn’t sleep or eat, paced, then walked only near the walls of the room as if blind and hearing loss. Emergency room visits showed nothing. Within a week I had to put him to rest. My own vet wouldn’t do it, they sent us to the ER. I am POSITIVE it was the vaccine, but the vet said no. I had been too traumatized to look into it until now. Too late for Sydney, but I will carry on a crusade so other beloved pets are not victimized.

  4. Marie Says:

    Can someone who actually has given this CIV vaccine to their dog contact me privately It is urgent.

  5. Jan Says:

    Marie, what kind of help do you need?

  6. Chelle Says:

    My dog received the CIV vaccine – set her into an autoimmune anemia and we lost her yesterday. It was a rapid deterioration and even with drug therapies and blood transfusions it took her away from us. Since learning what she has… I have learned that there seems to be a higher occurance of this with middle-aged female dogs… Please, DON’T blindly get your animals vacinated. Ask questions!
    Missing Hoakie…

  7. Jan Says:

    Chelle, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m wondering if your vet told you the possible reactions before giving the shot? Did the vet recommend it, or did a groomer, boarder, etc. insist on it? Were you told this is a new drug, approved in a rush, with a short history?

    Please read this second half of this article on vaccine reactions: Make sure your vet reported the death to the drug maker. Insist the drug maker compensate you for your loss. Tell your local newspaper and TV reporter about it.

    Was Hoakie healthy when the shot was given? Only healthy dogs should be vaccinated.

    Grieve, then take action. This shouldn’t have happened. Sending you a hug.

  8. Canine Influenza Vaccine - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    […] Jan Rasmussen, the author of Scared Poopless: Dog Flu: Does Your Dog Need the New Vaccine? | Truth4Dogs __________________ […]

  9. Kay Bryant Says:

    I am going to have to board my 11 pound dog and the kennel requires a fly shot and a booster $50. total before they will accept him, and of course, the offer it!

  10. Jan Says:

    Kay, this is just one of the reasons why kennels are expensive and petsitters are a bargain. The flu shot can cause adverse reactions and has not been tested thoroughly or long term. And I presume this is not the only unnecessary vaccine they demand. And then there is the danger of kennel cough (because the vaccine is ineffective), skin diseases and stress.

    Ask if they’ll accept a waiver of liability saying you won’t sue if your dog gets sick from the flu. If they believe that the vaccine is effective, all the dogs will be safe but yours so why should they mind?

  11. HaRo Says:

    Sad reading some of the bad effects and even death of their dogs after getting dog flu shot. My wife saw the TV ad, and thought it would be good to get it for our two boxers. I took one female boxer to the Humane Society in Houston to get spayed, and also get her shots. I decided to get her the dog flu shot at my wife’s urging. BIG MISTAKE, and glad I didn’t make the same mistake with the male boxer. One week after the second shot, the dog started having severe seizures. We had to go to several vets to find one that got her under control without being so stoned and being able to have a decent life. 2mg Clonazapam x 5 pills a day and phenobarb controls her seizures quite well now. But, the cost of this medication runs us over a hudred dollars a month and she’ll be on it the rest of her life not to mention her life most probably being cut short due to having to take this medication. She’s been on the meds for over three years now, or almost half her life. Thank god we’ve taught her to “shake off” (shake her head) when and if she starts seizing (head shakes), so she’s a smart little girl. Or, we get her to stop the seizure by holding a treat up and above her head so she concentrates on the treat and not her seizure. She has maybe one or two seizures even medicated about over one or two months. DO NOT EVER GET YOUR DOG THIS STUPID UNNECESSARY flu shot, and we both wish we’d never have heard about it. It’s cost us several thousand dollars in meds and vet bills since she started. Too close to her second shot for me to believe anything but this shot was responsible. In researching her affects, I found out occasionally other shots (rabies, etc) may sometimes cause seizures also.

  12. Jan Says:

    HaRo, it may well have been the flu shot, or the combination of the spaying and shots — especially rabies which should be given only when the dog is in great shape (not having surgery) and not with other shots. It may cause seizures. That never should have happened. Don’t go back there. You also might try acupuncture for the seizures. It might help. And I’d suggest you see a vet trained in homeopathy. That vet may be able to help. Find referral lists here:

    Adult dogs seldom need vaccination, except for rabies — which you seizing dog should never have. You need an exemption and hopefully your state allows them. Giving rabies vaccine could kill your dog. Please read this:

  13. Jan Says:

    HaRo, I just read an interesting article about controlling seizures in children with a low-starch diet.

    If your dog eats kibble, it probably contains lots of starch. Check out improving diet at

  14. Should You Vaccinate Your Dog Against The Dog Flu? | The Fun Times Guide to Dogs Says:

    […] Does Your Dog Really Need A Shot For H3N8 Dog Flu? […]

  15. Sean Says:

    My girlfriends boxer just got this yesterday because he goes to day care. It caused him to go into liver failure. They kept him over night and gave him steroids and he seems to be doing better but hes still in danger. He has a lot of allergies and the vet thinks it may be an allergic reaction.

  16. JimmyC Says:

    I just took my 6 month old Yorkie to the vet four her shots and the told me the Flu vaccine is now required. I said “thats weird I don’t remember my other dog getting this shot”. She is doing fine, but I think the vet is lying to me.

  17. Jan Says:

    Jimmy, I would ask “required for what”? As far as I know, only the rabies vaccine is legally required. Did you give the vaccine?

  18. SHELLY Barrad Says:

    What is the updated / new recommended responses, side effects of the new recently released NEW FLU VACCINE? Asap please

  19. Jan Says:

    Shelly, I asked the vet who wrote the truth4dogs article on the flu vaccine and here is what she said: “That vaccine is for a disease that came from the vets using a live vaccine up the noses of horses at the race tracks in Florida. That genetically engineered virus made a full evolutionary jump from the horses to the dogs, the greyhounds racing on the same tracts. That is how we got “dog flu” in the first place. The vaccines are VECTORING the disease and if you want more disease continue to vaccinate. Sorry, I have vaccines and what they are really doing in the crosshairs and I don’t advocate for them.

  20. lc Says:

    I had my 3 year old Yorkie get the new flu shot on a Mon and on Thurs he had a seizure the vet told me it probably was not the shot REALY?

  21. Jan Says:

    lc, tell your vet that seizures are a documented and well-known side effect for all vaccines. And tell your vet to You’re Fired! The flu vaccine is not recommended by any vet I know — that is, vets who care more about health than the bottom line. Did your dog get another other vaccines? Does your vet want to give part 2 of this vaccine? Please read this: How is your dog now?

  22. JeffR Says:

    I know I’m super late to the party but this is one more way to milk money. As of today pretty much every kennel requires this simply to take your dog. One claimed they had an “isolation” kennel for an extra $13 a day. $33 to board your dog without the vaccine at a place that charges $20. The problem is people with us like brains can see through this vaccine nonsense but there is nothing we can do if we want to live normal lives. It’s amazing how these costs simply get accepted as “the price of owning a dog”.

  23. alice s Says:

    jan–im near pine grove ,pa and those vets DID RECOMMEND civ influenza vac to my shihtzu. along with rabies DHLPP, BORDETELLA. IN A SHORT TIME SHE developed shiting lameness, eyes bulged and infected[she lost one eye],pancreatitis and finally crippled in 3 legs. back legs total crippled.she is in pain all the time even with got mad that i told him it was caused by overvaccinating her that she developed autoimmune disease. he stopped providing service to my dogs and my shihtzus needed meds.he gave too many vaccines i need to know how this dog can be fixed. i heard of stem cell and laser.what can stop the vaccines autoimmune reactions?

  24. Jan Says:

    Alice, your story is sad, shocking and oh so familiar. Please read and

    You definitely need to contact the manufacturer. I can only hope the same one made all the vaccines. If so, raise hell. Ask for financial help. Sometimes they will help pay for treatment.

    The flu, rabies and lepto (the L) are all highly reactive. Horrible to give together. Horrible vet. Multiple vaccines given at once increase reactions according to a study of 1.5 million dogs by Purdue.

    You need a holistic vet with experience treating vaccine reactions. Check out the lists at

    Good luck.

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