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CANINE INFLUENZA UPDATE APRIL 13, 2015

According to a report from Cornell University researchers who have been studying the recent canine influenza outbreak in Chicago, further testing has indicated that a strain of canine influenza that is new to the U.S. (H3N2) appears to be responsible for this outbreak, not the H3N8 strain as was previously assumed.  The H3N2 strain has only been seen previously in Asia.  It does not affect humans; however, it has been implicated in some upper respiratory illnesses in cats.  Symptoms of both strains of influenza are the same: fever, lethargy, poor appetite, coughing, and nasal discharge. 

The vaccine available for canine influenza targets the H3N8 strain of the illness.  Although it does not specifically provide protection against the H3N2 strain of influenza that is responsible for the current outbreak, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the current vaccine may provide some cross-protection against this strain.  Therefore, we would still advise that dogs at high risk for the illness (especially those traveling to affected regions or being visited by dogs coming from those regions) receive the canine influenza vaccine.  You can also help keep your dog protected by avoiding areas where dogs congregate and washing your hands after contact with dogs.  If your dog is showing signs of respiratory illness, do not take him to activities where he may expose other dogs to the infection. Contact us for testing and treatment options if your pet is symptomatic.

Dr. Erik Tysklind

The Paw Patch

CANINE INFLUENZA ALERT

Recently, there has been an outbreak of canine respiratory infections in the Chicago area.  Canine influenza virus (CIV) appears to be the key factor in this outbreak.  CIV was first noted in Florida in 2004 and is mutated from a horse flu virus (H3N8), and has not been a significant concern in most of the country since that time.  Although it is highly infectious in dogs, humans and other pets are not affected.  Some infected dogs will not show symptoms, but about 50-80% will show symptoms including:

  • Coughing or “honking” in the throat
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Runny nose/mucus secretions

Most dogs who are infected will only show mild symptoms; however, some will become very sick and require veterinary intervention. The majority of infected dogs will recover with supportive care including antibiotics, nebulization, and sometimes fluid therapy.  In a small number of cases, canine influenza can progress into pneumonia.  Although pneumonia is a more serious infection, most patients can recover if they receive appropriate care. 

Canine influenza can be spread by direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs, through the air via a cough, bark, or sneeze, or through contact with contaminated objects such as dog bowls or clothing.  Owners can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses by washing their hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with dogs.  Dogs who are coughing, sneezing, or showing other signs of respiratory illness should not be taken to activities or facilities where other dogs can be exposed to the virus. 

A safe and effective vaccination for canine influenza is available.  If your dog has never been vaccinated, it will need a series of two shots 2-4 weeks apart.  At this time, few kennel/doggie day care facilities in our area require the vaccine.  We currently recommend the vaccine for dogs who:

  • Are traveling, especially to the Chicago, northwest Indiana, and southern Wisconsin areas
  • Regularly board, attend doggie daycare, dog parks, or are otherwise exposed frequently to other dogs
  • Are at a higher risk for contracting more severe forms of the disease  (very young and very old dogs, or dogs who have a compromised immune system)

Vaccination will not help dogs who have already been exposed to the disease, and it is not immediately effective.  We recommend that dogs be kept in minimal contact with potentially infected dogs for 2-3 weeks following the second CIV vaccine. 

We will keep you updated with developments in this situation as they arise.  More information about the canine influenza virus can be found at www.doginfluenza.com.

Dr. Erik Tysklind

The Paw Patch

THE AWOOF PROGRAM

Many years ago, The Paw Patch started a donation fund to help care for homeless pets that came in to our care. The AWOOF program has helped heal and adopt out many pets over the years. In 2014, we partnered with the Veterinary Care Foundation so when people donated money, their donation could be 100% tax deductible. Please help us to continue to offer the best veterinary care not only to your pets but for those pets in need. It's very easy to donate: just click on the link, choose Indiana and then choose The Paw Patch. Thank you so much for your donation!

THIS ---->https://thepawpatchcom.vetmatrixbase.com/news---events.html

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After Hours: 317-248-0832


Wednesday Hours

Starting Wednesday, May 3, 2017, we will be closing EVERY Wednesday from 830a-1030a for team trainings and meetings.  If you have an emergency during these times, you can call the clinic and select the emergency option and a staff member will be contacted to help you! 

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