Dog Flu: Death of an Epidemic

Where Old Epidemics Go To Die

Dog who's over the dog flu

I’m so over this dog flu.

This post was originally written in 2015, when dog flu was a “hot new disease” and was on the wane. You’ll still benefit, as ALL epidemic disease follows this pattern, regardless of species affected or name of the virus. (2021: COVID-19 is following this same pattern though the main stream media seems to want to keep us confused and fearful, as vaccines are Big Business)

Dog flu is dead! Long live the dog flu! (It sells dog flu vaccine!)

As happens with most infectious diseases, even the epidemic ones that affect large populations, these things come to an end eventually. Dog flu, I predict, is, even as it spreads to several more states, in its death throes. I think it’s unlikely to do in Texas or Indiana or California what it did in Chicago, where some 1700 dogs got the canine flu and 5-6 died.

It’s now in 12 states, as of a recent count a couple of days ago.

And dog flu vaccine gets exactly this much credit: 0. Nada. Zilch.

As it spreads to new areas, the number of positive flu cases is no longer a fireball of runaway proportions. Here’s a great map from Cornell, where the veterinary diagnostic lab, along with Wisconsin’s, has been at the forefront in testing dogs for canine influenza.

You can see where it’s occurred prominently (red states) and where it’s moved (brown states) and the numbers that have been submitted for testing. That number always represents a small percentage of actual cases. As is true in most diseases, the majority never get tested.Flu-map-2015-Mar-May-6


More telling is on page two of this document, where you can see quickly the decline in new cases of late:

Dog Flu Vaccination: A Few Vets Get It

You may recall how the seeming consensus among vets and “experts” about the dog flu vaccine working this time around was “uncertainty.” Yet anyone who has read about flu and flu vaccines to any extent knows that this year’s flu vaccine (for humans) rarely protects people.


Because this year’s flu vaccine was made from the “best guess” of strains to use from last year’s flu. And flu changes every year, at least slightly. See reason #7 in this article from VacTruth: “8 Damn Good Reasons Not to Get the Flu Shot.

New flu virus this year? No protection is likely, as the flu vaccine is made from last year’s flu viruses.

And so it is with canine influenza. The current strain is called H3N2. The canine flu vaccine currently on the market comes from the prominent strain in 2004, called H3N8.

Odds of protection from the current flu vaccine to this year’s dog flu? 0%.

Here’s an article quoting vets who “get it.” in Georgia:

But the most common way to avoid viruses like dog flu – vaccinations – won’t work in this case, officials are now saying.

Bravo. Truth!

Still Getting it Wrong (But Profiting Selling Useless Vaccines)

Most vets still cling to “it’s not clear,” or “it’s uncertain” whether the current dog flu vaccine will protect against this dog flu epidemic in our midst. That allows for continued sales of the outdated dog flu vaccine.

A University of Wisconsin expert suggests getting the flu vaccine, yet in the same sentence adds, “despite a very low chance of cross-protection” (i.e. protecting against the current dog flu).

Even more telling is this veterinarian reporting in from Petco (spoiler alert: Petco sells lots of vaccines):

We also do not know if the current vaccine will be effective against the new Asian H3N2 strain.”

We just don’t know, honey. Probably worth a try, though. Pretty nasty flu going around…

The Media Won’t Report The End. Will You Help?

I’m of the strong opinion that this epidemic of canine influenza is about over. Just like the dreaded West Nile Virus from 1999, after it was around for some months, the only evidence that it had affected your horse was a titer in the blood, if you happened to ask for it.

There were the antibodies, showing your horse had adequately responded to the virus. And you never saw a sick horse. Immune systems just “woke up” to the virus being present across wide populations in North America, and mounted immune responses that kept the exposed well.

But the end of an epidemic doesn’t sell newspapers or TV commercials, and certainly not flu vaccine. So, I invite you to report in the comments below if you’ve:

  1. seen the canine flu or heard about it being in your area
  2. found some incidence numbers for your area
  3. had a dog affected yourself

[If that last one is true, or you’re wanting safe, cheap protection, having heard dog flu is in your area, be sure to read this page, telling you the homeopathic remedies that will both treat effectively and prevent the disease.]

Let’s take up the slack for the Lame Stream Media and call it like it is: Dog Flu is Dead.

Or so I think. Your eyes and ears can help me prove it.

p.s. If you missed my earlier articles on canine influenza, here’s the background:

Dog Flu: Fear, Uncertainty and Marketing

Here are the remedies to protect against and treat this flu:

Dog Flu: Remedy for an Epidemic

Here’s the story of my clients’ bringing flu home to their other two dogs (unknowingly), but then finding the remedy that made short work of it:

Canine Flu Hits Austin, Texas

And finally, the lame job the media did in interviewing me for the TV news:

Dog Flu Newsworthy. Cheap, Effective Remedy Not?

Graph from Cornell

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  1. Mike Eck on November 8, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    My 5-month-old female Samoyed, Rose, died a few days ago. A week after receiving her second flu shot, she started vomiting. Then stopped eating. We took her to the vet, where we were told she might have leptospirosis. Her liver enzyme tests were off the chart. We took her to an emergency room where they stabilized her. A spot test for Lepto was negative. Two days, later, she apparently got a blood clot, and died. Do you have any numbers showing how many dogs get sick from the flu shot? Thank you.

  2. Trainer on July 17, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I owned a large training, boarding, daycare and grooming facility in a very large city (over 4 million people in the metro area), I compete in dog sports and my daughter was a pro handler. I have yet to run across one single dog who has had the canine flu in all those years.

  3. Maggy Rose on May 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    We live in a Chicago suburb in the midst of the ”flu epidemic.” We avoided other dogs on walks but continued to participate in classes as well as nose work and barn hunt trials where all of the competing dogs walk on and sniff the same areas. My dog did not get sick. I did not get the useless flu vaccine or the additional bordetella vaccine that was also pushed by some veterinarians.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 29, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Good for you, Maggie. And do you think the epidemic is winding down, as a blogger from your area thought?

  4. Pam on May 26, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Dr. Falconer,
    Is there hope for dogs that have tested positive for heartworms? I have 4 rescue dogs that are in terrible shape. Need help!
    Thank you!

    • Rebecca on May 26, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Read the blog about “Curing Lily’s Heartworm”. Yes, there is hope!

  5. Susan on May 25, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Hello Dr Falconer,
    Canine flu diagnosed in a 13 week old Pomeranian Toy puppy in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Qc (Can).
    Puppy belongs to an aquaintance. She has had him 4 weeks.
    Apparently he was coughing slightly 2 weeks ago because, again, apparently, the vet said this breed has trachea problems when they get excited which makes them cough…
    But he still went ahead and gave him a Bordetella shot (along with all his other shots) last week. He’s now in the midst of a very good cough, sneeze and nose discharge episode. The lady called the vet who gave her the canine equivalent of “Tempra” as she said and this week she went back and he is now on a 10-day round of antibiotics…
    Thanks for this info and the remedies!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Oh, sorry to hear this, Susan. Poor pup, now getting his immune system further weakened by antibiotics, after the Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am combo vaccinations started it all!
      Still, phosphorus should help him get better much faster, and if she can hear reason and just stop the abi before he goes much further into sick gut land, you’ll have served him. And nux vomica might even be the better fitting remedy, as he’s now been intoxicated by the abi.
      All the best.

      • Steve Skinner on July 15, 2015 at 5:46 pm

        A couple comments:
        -88 confirmed cases of H3N2 in the Atlanta and surrounding counties area between May 15th and July 14th. ( ) While the H3N8 vaccine may not be protective for H3N2, to characterize the epidemic as “dead” seems a bit of a stretch.
        “…after the Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am combo vaccinations started it all! ” – Per the OP (Susan), CIV was diagnosed in this dog; I find it difficult to believe that the vaccinations actually “started it all”. While vaccinating this pup when it was coughing already (did the vaccines cause the illness BEFORE they were given?) may not have been the best thing to do, vaccinating for Distemper, Bordetella, and the remaining components of the vaccines that that were given certainly did NOT “start it all”.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on July 15, 2015 at 6:16 pm

          Yawn. 88 cases, compared to Chicago’s over a thousand? And these 88 over two months? I’d still call it dead, or at best, gasping its last. The fire’s about out on this epidemic, now that immunity is taking hold.
          I guess you haven’t seen the immune suppression that comes of vaccinating dogs for multiple things. Maybe not the full start of the pup’s problems, but the worsening after the shots is all too common.

  6. Stacey Zanella on May 25, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I would love to share on Pinterest.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      Oh, please do, Stacey. I think Pinterest has made it quite easy. Worst case, you copy the url and paste it in a pin. It should bring over the dog pic and headline and a few lines, as I recall.

  7. Elle on May 25, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Just commenting on another part of this week’s newsletter–thanks so much for the information on feeding the raw organ that correlates with the weak or diseased organ your dog might be experiencing. It’s just as in Homeopathy where “Like cures like”. Love how that works.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      It is cool, isn’t it, Elle?

      • Madeleine Innocent on May 25, 2015 at 7:02 pm

        I feed my cats and dogs raw liver and kidney every week – liver once and kidney twice, mixed in with muscle meat. Cats are prone to kidney disease and dogs heart disease. I have noticed that when they are slightly off colour, the cats will eat the liver or kidney but leave the muscle meat. An aha moment from your info here. So I must bring in heart for the dogs, now. Thank you! Nature is so perfect. All we have to do is to bow before her wisdom and interpret it correctly.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on May 25, 2015 at 7:28 pm

          Oh, I love those ah Ha! moments. And: both cats and dogs are having heart disease these days. In my practice (where I admittedly don’t see lots of heart patients), it’s about 50:50.
          So, for those of you wondering what this has to do with dog flu, both Elle and Madeleine are commenting on my newsletter this week, called Vital Animal News. If you’re not on my email list but would like to be, here’s where you can get that delivered fresh to your inbox, as soon as it’s published.

          • Gay on May 26, 2015 at 2:04 am

            I really appreciated that article on organ meat too. My Whippet is dealing with heart problems now. Do you find the dehydrated organs to be as beneficial as raw? She’s gotten very picky with her food and prefers crunchy things right now. I’ve been dehydrating the heart and using it as “cookies.”

          • Madeleine Innocent on May 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm

            Thanks for info about cats and heart disease. Didn’t know it was so common.
            Do you use organ remedies? I have an 18 year old canine patient doing really well on Crataegus 3x once a day. He literally bounced back. And a feline patient who was written off by vets is now enjoying life to the full with Chel 3x daily. I love them either on their own or with a constitutional remedy. Better than the herbs as animals dislike the taste and they are not good for cats.

          • Will Falconer, DVM on May 27, 2015 at 6:20 am

            I do use these, but so far more in my cancer patients, to support their organs of detox. I’m impressed that you’ve done so well with a 3x potency (alone? wow!) in heart disease. You’ve inspired me to look at them more.

  8. maria segreto on May 25, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Dr. Falconer,
    I have spread the message via twitter but your share buttons have disappeared from this post.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Oh, I see that. Somehow they popped up top a while back, but that’s changed, you’re right, Maria. In the newsletter, they are just wayyyy down near the blurbs for each post. And, on this page in the blog (and every page of my site), they are up top.
      Thanks for sharing it!

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