WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DOG FLU
We are committed to the well being of your pet and providing a safe, caring environment so that you have peace of mind when your pet is in our care. We also feel it is part of our responsibility as care takers that we provide you with information about potential threats to your pet’s health.
You can get the flu, but did you know your dog can as well? It’s called canine influenza (CIV) – or dog flu – and cases of it have been popping up all over the country. In fact, canine influenza has impacted dogs in more than half the country – just since March 2015 – and new cases are being diagnosed every week. It’s made dogs sick (some very ill) and some dogs have died as a result of CIV.
As a pet owner, here’s what you need to know.
There are two strains of canine influenza present in the dog population – H3N8 and H3N2, the latter is an Asian strain of CIV and is brand new in the United States. While we take every measure to maintain a clean, safe, sanitary facility, H3N2 is incredibly contagious and can be spread by infected dogs that are not yet showing signs of the illness. A dog may shed CIV H3N2 for up to 24 days, which means the dog is contagious and spreading the disease during that time period. It is spread easily by direct contact with infected dogs (sniffing, licking, nuzzling), through the air (coughing, barking or sneezing), and by contact with contaminated objects such as dog bowls and clothing. As a result, the infection can spread very quickly.
Protect Your Dog
Because your dog is boarded, your dog is at greater risk for contracting canine influenza virus. It’s important you talk to your veterinarian about prevention through vaccination – against both strains. Also be aware that many reported cases of CIV H3N2 occurred in healthy dogs between 1 and 7 years of age. To prevent the spread of disease, wash your hands with soap and water or disinfect them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with dogs. Dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities where other dogs can be exposed to the virus. Consider other factors that also put your pet at risk – doggie day care, training classes, dog parks, dog-friendly events, dog shows and sporting events, and contact with other dogs during walks. Again, talk to your veterinarian about vaccination. Call the Kewaskum Veterinary Clinic (262.626.2380) immediately if your dog has the following symptoms:
Discharge from the nose or eyes
Loss of appetite
Lethargy/lack of energy
If you’d like more information about canine influenza, please call our office at (262)262.2380. You also will find valuable pet owner information at doginfluenza.com.
HOURS BY APPOINTMENT:
1040 FOND DU LAC AVENUE
KEWASKUM, WI 53040-9583
Phone: (262) 626-2380
For after hour emergencies, Monday thru Friday, please call our office at 262-626-2380. On Friday (after hours) through Sunday, please call Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, which is located in Port Washington at 262-268-7800.