Canine Influenza is on the rise!


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Canine Influenza (AKA “Dog Flu”) is on the rise!

A recent outbreak in LA County has Veterinarians on alert!Many Vet offices, boarding facilities, and groomers are now requiring pets be vaccinated for Canine Influenza. The LA County Department of Health states, “In March 2017, canine influenza H3N2 was identified in dogs in Los Angeles (LA) County. Most of the dogs were imported from Asia and seen by a veterinarian after arrival into LA County. The dogs showed signs consistent with influenza such as coughing, sneezing, fever and nasal discharge.

What you should know:

1. What is canine influenza H3N2?
Canine Influenza H3N2, also known as “dog flu,” is very contagious (spreads from dog to dog). It causes a respiratory infection in dogs. It can also cause illness in cats. H3N2 hasn’t been known to cause illness in people.
2. What are the symptoms of canine influenza?
Symptoms of canine influenza H3N2 in dogs include: fever, cough, sneezing, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, and lack of energy. Cats usually have coughing, sneezing, and discharge from the eyes and nose.
3. When was this virus found in LA County?
Canine influenza H3N2, was first reported in the United States in 2015. It caused a large outbreak in dogs in the Chicago area. In March 2017, a sick dog was brought into LA County from Asia and confirmed to be infected with canine influenza H3N2. An outbreak of respiratory disease occurred in other dogs imported in that shipment and dogs that had contact with the imported dogs. As of April 2017, about 35 dogs have been placed under quarantine (separated from other dogs).
4. How does it spread?
Canine influenza H3N2 spreads through direct contact with infected dogs or cats. It can also spread through the air when an infected dog coughs, barks, or sneezes. Dogs that are infected with H3N2 can be contagious for up to 30 days. The virus can also be spread from contact with contaminated objects. The virus can survive 1-2 days on floors and cages. Vaccination for canine influenza is recommended for dogs that are around other dogs like at dog parks or the groomers.
5. How do I protect my pets from it?
• Take your dog to the veterinarian get the vaccine to protect them against canine influenza H3N2. There is no vaccination available for cats.
• If you think your pet has canine influenza, keep it away from other pets and contact your veterinarian right away.
• Make sure your dogs and cats are up-to-date on their routine vaccinations, like canine distemper and feline upper respiratory viruses.”

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But there is something you can do! You can protect your pet with the Canine Influenza vaccine!

From the AVMA: “The canine H3N8 vaccine is intended as an aid in the control of disease associated with canine influenza virus infection. Although the vaccine may not prevent H3N8 infection altogether, efficacy trials have shown that it may significantly reduce the severity and duration of clinical illness, including the incidence and severity of damage to the lungs. In addition, the vaccine reduces the amount of virus shed and shortens the shedding interval; therefore, vaccinated dogs that become infected develop less severe illness and are less likely to spread the virus to other dogs. These benefits are similar to those provided by influenza vaccines used in other species, including humans…”

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