Recently there have been numerous reports in Minnesota of positive cases of Canine Influenza.
Canine Influenza is an extremely contagious upper respiratory disease fairly new to the United States. Minnesota has a recent outbreak of disease involving the more problematic strain of disease- the H3N2 strain. Affected dogs develop coughing, purulent nasal discharge, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. The signs of infection are similar to those of other respiratory diseases in dogs but can progress rapidly. With proper medical attention, most dogs will recover. However, in some cases, canine influenza can progress to a more severe or even life-threatening condition, such as pneumonia.
Dog flu is very contagious and can spread through direct dog to dog contact, but also can be spread through indirect contact, like sharing of water bowls, toys, or leashes and also by general handling of sick pets. It can persist for up to twenty-four days after infection.
How do you know your pet has influenza?
Your pet will likely have a mild cough, low-grade fever anorexia, lethargy, fever, sneezing, nasal discharge and/or dyspnea. Signs typically appear within one to five days after a dog is infected.
How can it be prevented?
The best way to protect your dog from canine influenza is through avoidance and vaccination. If there is a local outbreak, avoiding common dog areas such as dog parks is strongly recommended. Fortunately, there are vaccinations now available for canine influenza. The initial vaccination requires two doses of each vaccine, given 2 to 4 weeks apart. Thereafter, an annual booster is recommended for continued protection.
My dog gets boarded and grooming, what do you recommend?
At Pipestone Veterinary Services, we carry the Nobivac vaccine to protect your pet from Canine Influenza. As of August 1, 2017 we will be requiring all boarding pets to start their Influenza vaccination series.
Call us today to discuss any questions you may have and to set up an appointment to protect your dog!