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Posts Tagged ‘respiratory illness’

There has been a lot of talk in the news about how this has been a bad Flu season for people. You may even know a handful of folks who have been knocked out for days due to the illness. But did you know dogs can get the Flu, too? And that people can possibly transmit it to them?

Now that I have your attention, allow me to clarify:

  1. Dogs do not get “people Flu.” Human Influenza is specific to humans and Canine Influenza is specific to dogs.
  2. People do not get “dog Flu.” Unless the virus mutates in a way not yet seen, and you are the unluckiest dog owner in town, you will not catch the Flu from your dog.
  3. People who have been in contact with a dog that is shedding Canine Influenza can carry the virus on their clothing and their skin and become a source of infection to their dog.

Here’s what you need to know:
Without washing, the Canine Influenza virus

  • can live on surfaces for 48 hours
  • can live on clothing for 24 hours
  • can live on skin for 12 hours

You are probably thinking that it is easy to recognize the signs of illness and avoid sick dogs, right?
The typical signs of Canine Flu are:

  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • lethargy
  • anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • fever
  • purulent nasal discharge
  • pneumonia (high fever, increased respiratory rate and effort)

So that should be easy to spot, and you should avoid handling dogs that are clearly sick — but Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian says
you need to know that:

  • Dogs that are infected with Canine Influenza are most infective during the incubation period, when they are shedding the virus, but not showing signs of illness.
  • The incubation period is the 2 to 4 days between the time the dog is exposed to the virus and the time the dog starts showing signs of illness.

So that healthy-looking dog you just nuzzled at PetsLuv Pet Store could be a wellspring of disease. And you could bring that disease back to your dog.

The good news is, the Canine Influenza virus can be killed easily with detergent. Wash your hands (or anywhere the dog had contact) with soap and water; change your clothes and put them in the laundry, before handling your own pet.

For an added level of protection, Contact Us at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic and schedule your pet to receive a Canine Flu vaccine.

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There is a new strain of Canine Influenza making the rounds in the U.S., and with a nation of travelers, it’s a good idea to protect your dog before the flu arrives in town, according to Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian.

H3N2 Flu vaccine now available at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic!

Both strains of Canine Flu (H3N8 and H3N2) are commonly contracted where dogs are grouped together for significant periods of time or have nose-to-nose contact, such as at boarding kennels, grooming parlors, doggie daycare, and dog parks. 

The original H3N8 Canine Flu vaccine has been available for a few years. Now that a vaccine for H3N2 is available, many boarding and grooming facilities are requiring it for their canine customers. In response, Little Creek Veterinary Clinic has begun making the new flu vaccine available for patients.

The H3N2 vaccine is given first as a two-dose series,  three weeks apart. After that, a single yearly booster is all that’s needed to keep your dog protected against H3N2. [Severely lapsed vaccines may require the 2-dose regimen to be repeated.]

Contact Us to schedule an appointment to get your pet protected against the H3N2 Canine Flu today!

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Canine Flu vaccine

If you think only people can catch the flu – think again. A flu strain known as H3N8 affects dogs all over America.

Get the facts here, then make an appointment with us to vaccinate your dog for Canine Influenza.

Some quick facts about Canine Flu:

  • Only affects dogs
  • First reported in March 2003, in Florida
  • Highly contagious, especially in kennels, shelters, grooming parlors, dog parks
  • Signs include persistent cough, fever, nasal discharge, lack of energy, lack of appetite
  • Nearly 20% of infected dogs will develop high fever and pneumonia
  • Spread through direct contact; cough or sneeze; contaminated hands, clothing, surfaces

My dog’s records say she’s received the Parainfluenza vaccine already.  That’s the same thing as the H3N8 Flu, right?
No.  Parainfluenza is a different virus, unrelated to the (relatively) newly discovered H3N8.  Your pet’s immune system will know the difference!

My dog is already vaccinated against Bordetella (Kennel Cough.)  Isn’t that the same thing?
No.  Although the symptoms may look the same, the organisms responsible are different.  Bordetella is caused by bacteria; Canine Influenza is caused by a virus.  Vaccinating against one does not provide protection against the other.

How can I tell whether my dog needs the Canine Flu vaccination?
The same situations that call for the Bordetella vaccine, also call for the Flu shot. Check this list* to see which situations apply to your pet:

  • Pet comes from a shelter, rescue group, breeding kennel, pet store
  • Pet boards at a kennel or goes to doggie daycare
  • Pet attends group training classes
  • Pet goes to a groomer, dog parks, or meets other dogs during its daily walks
  • Pet is entered into dog shows
  • Pet comes into contact with other dogs in veterinary clinic or pet store

How many Canine Flu shots does my dog need?
Initially, dogs should receive two Flu shots spaced 2-4 weeks apart; after that, one booster yearly is recommended.

So if my pet gets the Canine Flu shot, it won’t develop the disease?
The Canine Flu vaccine makes it much less likely that your pet will develop the disease.  And if he does get sick, he is more likely to have a mild case and recover more quickly than a dog that has not been vaccinated.

Why did the veterinarian give my dog antibiotics, if the Canine Flu is a virus?
The doctor may opt to treat suspected secondary bacterial infections with antibiotics.  Bacterial infections are often responsible for a thick yellow/green nasal discharge that can accompany the Flu, but there can be other symptoms, as well.   

Remember:  when your pet is sick, its immune system is fighting the primary illness, but it is still vulnerable to other diseases that come along.  In our clinic, we call those secondary infections “opportunistic” because they are taking advantage of the opportunity infect a pet with a weakened immune system.  And, unfortunately, Mother Nature has no law against people or pets suffering more than one illness at a time.

Learn more about reducing your dog’s risk of contracting Canine Influenza.

*Borrowed from “Canine Influenza: What do I need to know?” by Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health. Pamphlet is available at our office.

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This article was posted on November 10, 2011 and November 14, 2012, and November 26, 2013.

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If you think only people can catch the flu – think again. A flu strain known as H3N8 affects dogs all over America.

Get the facts here, then make an appointment with us to vaccinate your dog for Canine Influenza.

Some quick facts about Canine Flu:

  • Only affects dogs
  • First reported in March 2003, in Florida
  • Highly contagious, especially in kennels, shelters, grooming parlors, dog parks
  • Signs include persistent cough, fever, nasal discharge, lack of energy, lack of appetite
  • Nearly 20% of infected dogs will develop high fever and pneumonia
  • Spread through direct contact; cough or sneeze; contaminated hands, clothing, surfaces

My dog’s records say she’s received the Parainfluenza vaccine already.  That’s the same thing as the H3N8 Flu, right?
No.  Parainfluenza is a different virus, unrelated to the (relatively) newly discovered H3N8.  Your pet’s immune system will know the difference!

My dog is already vaccinated against Bordetella (Kennel Cough.)  Isn’t that the same thing?
No.  Although the symptoms may look the same, the organisms responsible are different.  Bordetella is caused by bacteria; Canine Influenza is caused by a virus.  Vaccinating against one does not automatically provide protection against the other.

How can I tell whether my dog needs the Canine Flu vaccination?
The same situations that call for the Bordetella vaccine, also call for the Flu shot. Check this list* to see which situations apply to your pet:

  • Pet comes from a shelter, rescue group, breeding kennel, pet store
  • Pet boards at a kennel or goes to doggie daycare
  • Pet attends group training classes
  • Pet goes to a groomer, dog parks, or meets other dogs during its daily walks
  • Pet is entered into dog shows
  • Pet comes into contact with other dogs in veterinary clinic or pet store

How many Canine Flu shots does my dog need?
Initially, dogs should receive two Flu shots spaced 2-4 weeks apart; after that, one booster yearly is recommended.

So if my pet gets the Canine Flu shot, it won’t develop the disease?
The Canine Flu vaccine makes it much less likely that your pet will develop the disease.  And if he does get sick, he is more likely to have a mild case and recover more quickly than a dog that has not been vaccinated.

Why did the veterinarian give my dog antibiotics, if the Canine Flu is a virus?
The doctor may opt to treat suspected secondary bacterial infections with antibiotics.  Bacterial infections are often responsible for a thick yellow/green nasal discharge that can accompany the Flu, but there can be other symptoms, as well.   

Remember:  when your pet is sick, its immune system is fighting the primary illness, but it is still vulnerable to other diseases that come along.  In our clinic, we call those secondary infections “opportunistic” because they are taking advantage of the opportunity infect a pet with a weakened immune system.  And, unfortunately, Mother Nature has no law against people or pets suffering more than one illness at a time.

Learn more about reducing your dog’s risk of contracting Canine Influenza.

*Borrowed from “Canine Influenza: What do I need to know?” by Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health. Pamphlet is available at our office.

***************************************************************************************************
This article was originally posted on November 10, 2011 and November 14, 2012.

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