In light of the recent outbreaks of the Canine Influenza (H3N8 and H3N2) and in conjunction with the recommendations through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian’s Office and the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association Adams Farm Animal Hospital PA does recommend a Bi-Valent vaccine protecting against both strains of the virus.
The following is a communication to explain our policy and protocol regarding Canine Influenza:
1.) Canine patients receiving Bi-Valent vaccine must have had an exam in our hospital within the last 6 months and show no clinical symptoms in order to receive the vaccine without an attending clinician’s examination.
2.) The appointments will be scheduled as 10 minute nurse appointment in which the animals will receive a TPR (Temperature, Pulse, Respiration Rate) and ensure they are healthy to receive the vaccine.
3.) Animals that are considered to be “At Risk” and should be vaccinated are those that board quite often, frequently visit dog parks and doggie day cares, grooming patients, those that travel out of the state, and those that do attend dog shows or sporting events.
4.) The vaccine like many others will have to be boostered 3 weeks later for the dog to have adequate protection against the virus. Annual immunization boosters are recommended.
5.) Adams Farm Animal Hospital PA at this time is not requiring the Flu Vaccine for patients to board in our facility however that is subject to change at a later date. No cases have been reported in Guilford County as of today.
Below is info courtesy of the AKC and posted on the NC Department of Agriculture webpage: www.ncagr.gov/vet/aws/canineflu
Canine Influenza Virus
Canine Influenza Virus is spread through:
- Close proximity to infected dogs (it is airborne and can travel up to 20 ft.; Dog parks are ideal for spreading the virus)
- Contact with contaminated items (bowls, leashes, crates, tables, clothing, dog runs, etc.)
- People moving between infected and uninfected dogs
- 80% of all dogs that are exposed to the virus will contract it
- The virus lives up to 24 hours on soft surfaces and up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.
- Some exposed dogs will be subclinical carriers – meaning some dogs will contract and spread the virus without showing symptoms.
- Dogs show clinical signs within 24-48 hours and can shed the virus for up to 28 days from exposure.
- Most dogs will completely recover with proper treatment.
- Dogs that regularly interact with dogs outside of their own family or frequent places where many dogs gather are most susceptible to exposure to Canine Influenza Virus.
- Dry, hacking cough (similar to kennel cough)
- Lack of appetite
- Discharge from the nose or eyes
- Fever (normal temperature is 101 – 102)
- The best protection is vaccination. There is now a single vaccination for both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the virus. The vaccination requires a booster 3 weeks after the initial vaccine. Vaccination provides the best chance of immunity within 7-14 days of booster.
- Isolate sick animals and keep them isolated for up to 30 days after symptoms subside.
- Practice good sanitation. For disinfection use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas such as tables, bowls, leashes, crates, etc. Allow items to thoroughly air dry for a minimum of 10 minutes before exposing dogs to them. Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas
- Wash your hands frequently, ideally between handling different dogs. At the very minimum, hand sanitizer should be used between handling dogs.
- Use disposable gowns or wipe down clothing and shoes with a bleach solution between dogs or after leaving an area where dogs congregate. Food/water bowls should be made of stainless steel instead of plastic because scratched plastic is hard to fully disinfect.
- Treatment of Canine Influenza Virus requires veterinary assistance. If you believe your dog may have Canine Influenza Virus, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Untreated, the illness may progress to pneumonia or other, more serious problems. H3N2 can lead to severe secondary pneumonia, severe illness and can be potential fatal.
- Most dogs take 2-3 weeks to recover from the illness.
- Any dog suspected of having Canine Influenza Virus should be immediately isolated from other dogs and should not attend dog shows, day care, grooming facilities, dog parks, or other places dogs gather. Dogs are contagious for up to 30 days once they have started showing symptoms.
- Contact your veterinarian to let them know that your dog may be showing symptoms of Canine Influenza Virus. If your dog is going to a veterinary hospital or clinic, call ahead to let them know you have a suspected case of Canine Influenza Virus. They may ask you to follow a specific protocol before entering the clinic to minimize the spread of the disease, including waiting in your car until they are ready to examine your dog.
- Keep sick dogs at home and isolated from other dogs and cats until you are certain the illness has run its course (typically 3-4 weeks).
We are always available should you have any additional questions and/or concerns regarding your pet’s health and we appreciate the opportunity to keep them healthy!