Canine InfluenzaIn the past few weeks, there has been an outbreak of canine influenza. We now have the vaccine in our hospital to help combat the virus and protect your pet.

Your dog's health is our #1 priority, so please feel free to call us at (815) 485-4477 at any time if you have questions or if you would like to schedule a vaccination appointment.

What is Canine Influenza?

Canine Influenza is a respiratory virus that can cause severe disease and even death in extreme cases. We have recently seen an spike in the number of dogs in the Chicagoland area that have been exposed to the virus. The greatest risk of contact is when your dog is placed in a situation where there is contact with other dogs, such as doggie daycare, boarding kennels, and grooming parlors. Young dogs, older dogs, and dogs with a compromised immune system are at greatest risk.

'Dog Flu' Symptoms

The signs of Canine Influenza are coughing, nasal discharge, high fever and often lack of appetite. If you see any of these symptoms, we urge you to call us and make an appointment with one of our doctors. Unfortunately, there are several other common diseases that can have the same symptoms.

Treatment

Dogs with mild cases are usually treated as outpatients, to isolate the pet at home and away from other dogs, and decrease the risk of exposure to other animals. Treatment usually consists of oral antibiotics,cough suppressants and medications to open the airway. Dogs with more severe cases might require hospitalization. It can be contagious to other dogs in the house. Cats, and so far, humans are not affected by the disease.

Prevention

The Canine Influzena vaccine is an FDA approved drug that was developed in 2009. The first series is given as two injections, 2 – 4 weeks apart. After that, your dog requires annual boosters. In addition to vaccination for canine influenza, it is recommended for dogs to be vaccinated for kennel cough (bordetella vaccine), especially those who are frequently at the groomer, in boarding facilities, or at doggie day care. (Note: Kennel cough is caused by different types of bacteria and viruses.)