We’ve all seen the headlines about the new outbreak of Canine Influenza. Animal Medical Center wants our clients to be informed and we are here to answer any of your questions or concerns.
Canine influenza, dog flu, is an emerging virus that was first reported in the United State in January 2004 at a greyhound dog racing track in Florida. There is currently an outbreak of canine flu in the Midwest that stated in the Chicago area in 2015. Our Gillette Veterinarians recently discussed the disease and its potential threat to dogs in Gillette, Wyoming and surrounding areas.
When a dog becomes infected with the influenza virus, the symptoms, as well as those of most any other respiratory infection are the following: a cough, low-grade fever, anorexia, lethargy, discharge from the nose and sometimes the eyes. The good news is that most dogs that are infected have a very mild course of the disease. In fact, up to 20% of the infected dogs will show no symptoms at all. Canine influenza does have the potential to affect some dogs more significantly with fevers in the 106-degree range and symptoms of pneumonia. This can lead to difficulty breathing and even permanent damage to the lungs. In the most severe cases, which comprise less than 10% of infected dogs, deaths have been seen.
The transmission of the canine influenza virus is through respiratory secretions and objects contaminated with the virus, for example, water/feeding bowls, leashes, kennel surfaces, blankets and related items. The virus has the ability to live on hands for 12 hours, blankets for 24 hours and on surfaces for up to 2 days. Once a dog has been exposed it may take up to 4 days to show symptoms but it can happen as soon as 48 hours. Dogs can be contagious and shedding the virus before they show any signs that they are sick and this period of shedding can last for up to 10 days.
The team of Gillette veterinarians at the Animal Medical Center has developed some canine influenza recommendations for dog owners in the Gillette, Wyoming area.
Our recommendations at Animal Medical Center are simple:
1) No need to vaccinate
There is no need to vaccinate your dog with the current canine influenza vaccine. A vaccine for this particular strain of flu has not been developed at this time and is unclear if the existing flu vaccine will provide any cross protection against the current outbreak.
2) Bring your pet to us if he or she becomes sick
If your dog exhibits symptoms of the flu – cough, not wanting to eat, nasal or ocular discharge, acting more tired than normal, or fever – please bring them to AMC so we can examine and treat them. Although it would be highly unlikely to be the flu, these symptoms are still serious and should be evaluated by your Gillette Veterinarian.
3) If traveling to the mid-west, implement risk-reduction measures
If your dog will be traveling to the mid-west during this current outbreak we want to talk to you about your individual dog and what risk reduction measures you might need to take to help protect them.
Canine influenza (dog flu) does not appear to currently be a threat to dogs in Gillette, Wyoming. the veterinary team at Animal Medical Center will continue to monitor canine influenza and update our recommendations based on the most recent information if indicated
For further information please see the following links: