Canine influenza has been all over the news lately. There are reports of an outbreak in Northern California. At this time we do not have influenza in Douglas County, but it looks like it is only a matter of time. Now is the time to act and get your pets vaccinated if they are at risk. If you wait until influenza is here it will be too late. The influenza vaccine is a series of two vaccinations administered 3-4 weeks apart and then yearly afterwards. It is a killed vaccine, so your pet will not get the flu from the vaccine. It is a very safe vaccine.
Common clinical signs of canine influenza include coughing, nasal discharge, ocular discharge, sneezing, lethargy and anorexia. This mild form can mimic kennel cough. In the more severe form dogs may also develop fever and pneumonia secondary to influenza which may require hospitalization and can be life threatening.
Dogs can pass influenza to cats, but then cats cannot spread influenza to other cats or dogs. Cats will show similar signs of upper respiratory disease including nasal discharge, congestion, lethargy, lip smacking, and excessive salivation. Unfortunately at this time there is not a vaccine for cats.
If you think your dog has canine influenza please seek veterinary care. It is highly contagious so we recommend staying in your car with the pet and calling into the clinic to let them know you are there and we will come see your pet in the car so we prevent spreading the disease. We recommend trying to keep your dog at home and isolated to prevent further spread.
Help us get ahead of the flu and get your dog vaccinated today! Canine influenza is spread by direct contact with respiratory secretions and/or contact with contaminated objects such as food/water bowls, toys, and contaminated clothing of the people around the pets (such as owners, groomers, etc). The virus can survive for 1-2 days on hard surfaces. Influenza can spread rapidly at boarding facilities, groomers, doggie day cares, dog parks, and other places where dogs co-mingle. Any dogs going to any of these locations or who are very social should be considered at risk and vaccinated today.