In March 2015 an outbreak of the Canine Influenza Virus began in Chicago and some suburbs. As of October 2015, the virus is still in our area, with several dog deaths having been reported and many animal hospitals having to close for a period of time following outbreaks.
This virus is highly contagious with a high incidence of leading to pneumonia and even death. Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus will become infected. One hospital saw 220 dogs with this virus in two days at the onset of the outbreak.
Animal Medical Center treated hundreds of dogs with Canine Influenza approximately 5 years ago, and we have treated a handful of patients for it this year. We have had zero outbreaks in our hospital this year, which has allowed us to remain open.
We believe prevention is the best medicine for this virus, therefore we are now requiring all dogs who are coming in to Animal Medical Center for grooming, surgery and boarding be vaccinated for Canine Influenza.
We are requesting clients to come in as soon as possible (7 days ahead, if at all possible) to get their dog's first booster if the pet will be staying at our hospital for any amount of time. A second booster will be needed two weeks later for the pet to be protected for 12 months. Each dose of the vaccine costs $32. The vaccine is a killed virus and will not cause your dog to get the flu.
Signs of this virus include, but are not limited to:
- loss of appetite
The risk factors for the Canine Influenza virus are the same as for "kennel cough," but it is important to remember that kennel cough and Canine Influenza are two different viruses.
Which dogs should be vaccinated for Canine Influenza?
· Dogs taken to:
1. Veterinary Hospitals
2. Boarding and grooming facilities, including "doggie day care"
3. Pet stores
4. Dog parks
- Show dogs
- Dogs from adoption groups