Posts Tagged ‘flu’

Protect your pets!

August 2, 2013

canine fluThe canine flu virus has existed for several years.  It first received media attention after an article, published in September of 2005, explored the “Transmission of Equine Influenza Virus to Dogs”.  Further national media attention was given to the virus in 2009 when it was discovered that the virus was causing illness and death in dogs at Florida Greyhound tracks and then spreading to other dogs across the country.

What is Canine Flu?  It is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs.  What are the symptoms?  The virus can cause coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, high fevers, eye discharge and, possibly, fatal pneumonia.

It has been supported that 80% of dogs exposed to the virus will develop an infection.  Most canine companions will experience only mild coughing; however, puppies and senior dogs are a greatest risk for fatalities associated with the virus.  The number of dogs at risk from actually dying from the virus is estimated at anywhere between 1 and 10%.

Who is at risk?  Dogs housed in high-density population areas or boarding kennels are at increased risk.  The virus has been documented in shelters, veterinary clinics, pet stores, boarding/kennel facilities and dog tracks.

What can the H3N8 dog vaccine do to protect my pet?  We hear this question many times each week from our clients who are opting to board their pets at the Animal Hospital of Polaris.  Our clients like to do everything they can to protect their pets but also want to minimize the risk of complications associated with vaccination.  They also want to avoid any unnecessary expenses.  We still recommend the vaccine (and require it) if you are boarding your dog at our extended stay kennel facility.  There are just some risks that we don’t wish to take with the health of your pet or any other pet.  We believe the canine influenza vaccine is beneficial.  The only exception might be if your dog is never boarded, is mostly in the house and does not interact with other dogs.  Vaccination could be very beneficial if your pet were exposed and may help to prevent the spread of this nasty and contagious virus.

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